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Autistic 4 year old kicked out of daycare

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11 replies to this topic

#1 PotatoScallop

Posted 28 June 2019 - 12:04 PM

My friend has a 4 year old boy who is ASD level 2 and mostly non-verbal (can say hi and no). He goes to a daycare centre 3 days a week. My friend has just been told that he has to leave the centre due to his recent outbursts of violence. They've given her two weeks notice to find care elsewhere.

My friend is devastated. Believes it is discriminatory. States she's never received any warnings or any indication that everything is not fine.

Does anyone have any advice? Her mothers group said she should talk to the Ombudsman because what the centre is doing is illegal. But then I would think that they would also have a duty of care to protect the other kids there, and maybe they're not equipped to deal with his needs. I don't know what her rights are. Does anyone have any experience in this area?

#2 José

Posted 28 June 2019 - 12:20 PM

ultimately i would not want my young child in a place that didnt want them.
i would be hugely upset about the situation but wouldn't want to try to force the centre to keep my child there.

#3 Beancat

Posted 28 June 2019 - 12:30 PM

That is really tricky, because yes the centre does have a duty of care to protect all children in its care, BUT to have no prior indication there is a problem - this is also concerning.

Which state are you in? The regulations in the relevant jurisdiction will determine what to do next.  Which ombudsman precisely did the  mothers' group suggest?  There has to be an ombudsman with jurisdiction to investigate the case (if there is deemed to be one) and she will have to ensure she has followed the relevant dispute resolution process.  If this is a possible path - then it will take time, it is not going to help her in the next two weeks.

Firstly, is the centre part of a larger chain?  If so - speak to the regional manager of the chain

Secondly, if in Victoria, early childhood education is regulated by DETV.  She can approach region and ask to speak with one of the parent liaison officers. This will probably  be the most effective route and the department will have the relevant information on the legality of the situation and the process the centre should have followed.

Thirdly, given he is 4yo - is he undertaking a 4yo kinder program at the centre?  All children in Australia are entitled to 15 hours of kindergarden in the year prior to commencing school

#4 GlitteryElfFarts

Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:48 PM

Are you 100% sure she has received no indications. Maybe they have tried talking to her at different times, but she may have not heard due to being busy or just plain tired. It happens.

I hope she finds somewhere that is a good fit for her and her DS.

#5 Yippee-Ki-YayMF

Posted 28 June 2019 - 02:25 PM

Op, I’m sorry for your friend. When my boys were younger a day care flat refused to accept them after I disclosed diagnosis and outright said that was why. Sadly, I contacted a disability discrimination agency who advised that while they could argue the point, day care providers often won at hearings by citing unreasonable stress caused. It was incredibly upsetting at the time but eventually, like a op stated, I really didn’t want my kids being cared for by people who thought like that. It never would have been a good fit. Doesn’t stop it from being very upsetting though.

#6 Caribou

Posted 28 June 2019 - 02:41 PM

View PostWTF*A*Lot, on 28 June 2019 - 01:48 PM, said:

Are you 100% sure she has received no indications. Maybe they have tried talking to her at different times, but she may have not heard due to being busy or just plain tired. It happens.

I hope she finds somewhere that is a good fit for her and her DS.

They’d need to give written formal notification to back their claims up. Verbal talking isn’t enough. But yes, while the centre does sound like it’s in the wrong, and I’d want to pursue a case to prevent it happening to other parents I’d also want to find another centre which would be far more accommodating to the child.

#7 robhat

Posted 28 June 2019 - 02:54 PM

I'm not 100% certain, but I think daycares and preschools can refuse to take children with high levels of special needs if they feel they are unable to adequately provide good care for them. In this case they would most likely claim that they do not have sufficient trained staff to give your friend's child the 1 on 1 attention he probably needs. This of course isn't totally true as there is funding available which can be used to get more staff etc etc but a lot of centres can't be bothered and I think aren't obligated to.

I am on the management committee for a local community preschool. The director tells me our preschool is one of the few in the area that will take special needs kids, which means basically that preschools are not required to. Which sucks. I'm pleased to say that our preschool currently has 10 kids with special needs including autism and kids that are tube fed and I think a child with significant hearing issues. I will also add though that accessing the funding for them so that the preschool can provide proper care for them is total HELL for the director, so I can't be surprised that other places opt out.

#8 Expelliarmus

Posted 28 June 2019 - 04:01 PM

No. Schools cannot refuse to take children with special needs. That breaches the legislation.

There is process for advocating a child attend a different setting, however in a school situation the family still has the right to attend a local setting and the school provide accommodations.

A private daycare may be subject to different policies however. Like many others I would probably not want my child at a place he isn’t wanted - but this doesn’t make what they’ve done right.

#9 MessyJ

Posted 28 June 2019 - 09:46 PM

View Postrobhat, on 28 June 2019 - 02:54 PM, said:

In this case they would most likely claim that they do not have sufficient trained staff to give your friend's child the 1 on 1 attention he probably needs. This of course isn't totally true as there is funding available which can be used to get more staff etc etc but a lot of centres can't be bothered and I think aren't obligated to.

The maximum level of support (in my state) for any child was 5 hours a day. Yet in CC they can be in care for up to 10 hours a day (or more if they're not full time). And yes, it can take weeks/months to finally get the support approved with heaps of extra time for centre staff to apply for it all.

We did have an autistic child who was violent and had harmed many children and we were getting LOTS of complaints from parents and it became a huge issue - so our centre self-funded a 1-on-staff to shadow him for the other 4-5 hours a day. I can understand if a centre does not have the funds to be able to do this.

I've heard of certain private preschools not taking children on who are not toilet trained, so I know depending on the type of centre, they certainly can make up their own standards of what they deem able to care for!

#10 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 28 June 2019 - 09:51 PM

It's a breach of human rights to refuse on the grounds of additional needs - and that includes toilet training.

However staff can make it obvious that you won't be welcome.

We, like robhat's preschool, welcome everyone and it is up to us to work out how to make it a good experience - others can't be bothered with the hours of paperwork for limited funding.

#11 melanieb530

Posted 29 June 2019 - 01:36 AM

As PP have said, have they applied for extra funding for an additional staff member? Unless anything has changed they can get some short term interim funding until they have put a plan in place for longer term ongoing funding.

The following link has the details. The service should already know how to do this.


Edited by melanieb530, 29 June 2019 - 01:38 AM.

#12 melanieb530

Posted 29 June 2019 - 01:57 AM


Link to sample template

They can put in e.g. child needs help with communication, child needs help with regulating emotions and then how the staff plan to help support the child with these skills.

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