Parents of children with disabilities in Wales say they’re paying up to eight times more for childcare.
More than two hundred Welsh families were surveyed by the charity Contact - for families with disabled children and they found:
80% say it’s more expensive than childcare for a non disabled child
91% say there’s not enough choice of good quality childcare
72% of mums were forced to give up or limit their careers
Dylan Thomas’ daughter Keira has complex needs - she is non verbal, and non-mobile, and has cerebral palsy. When Dylan’s wife died he gave up work to become Kiera’s full time carer.
“Childcare is geared to the majority - which is children who’ve got no needs - but there isn’t necessarily the childcare out there for children like Kiera, which means that she’s missing out on it and me as a Father, and a sole carer, I miss out on those things that come with it as well”
Disabled children often need one to one or specialist care, which costs more, as well as staff trained in specialist care like administering certain medications. Kate Wyke, who is the Development Officer for the charity Contact says there isn’t the trained staff or the childcare facilities needed, which leads to many parents becoming full time carers who are then reliant on benefits.
Watch Alexandra Hartley's report:
The Welsh Government has told ITV Wales News that improving access to childcare for all children is a priority. As well as their childcare offer for supporting working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, funding is also made available to Local Authorities to make sure they can purchase specialist equipment to accommodate a child with additional needs.
In addition, our Flying Start programme provides a range of support services to children under 4, including some access to childcare for 2-3 year olds, designed to support their development.
There are around 56,000 children in Wales with disabilities. The support they get depends on a range of factors - their condition, their family situation and of course, what's on offer in their local community.
ITV News cameras visited an afterschool club near Pontypool that provide parents with free childcare for children with disabilities.