Northumberland family services agency, PC MPP demand Wynne government take action to help children and families

QUEEN'S PARK, April 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Today at Queen's Park, the Northumberland Child Development Centre (NCDC) and Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Rob Milligan are calling on the Wynne government to do the right thing and fix a tragic situation that is placing thousands of children and families at risk.

NCDC is a highly respected agency that has helped thousands of children and families in Northumberland County for more than 30 years. NCDC is now extremely underfunded due to poor management of taxpayer dollars by the province and county.

During today's Question Period, MPP Milligan called on Education Minister Liz Sandals to step in and restore NCDC's funding. "This government needs to get a handle on the developmental services portfolio," Milligan said. "Funding must be restored to the Infant and Child Development Program in Northumberland County so that NCDC can continue to provide vital services to vulnerable children and families in my community. They deserve no less."

The situation occurred when the provincial government transferred responsibility for Special Needs Resourcing from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to the Ministry of Education. Funding to the Infant and Child Development Program in Northumberland County was destroyed by the transfer.  As of yet, the Wynne government has not taken any action.

"The fact that the provincial government is fully aware of this issue and has done nothing to prevent or rectify the damage is unacceptable," said Wayne Smith, President of the Board of NCDC.

Thousands of Northumberland County families have benefitted from the tireless work and commitment of the special needs workers from this program. "I do not know what I – and, most importantly, my son – would have done without NCDC and its dedicated workers," said Michelle Higginson, a parent who also serves as Chair of the Northumberland Special Needs Children Parent Advocacy Group.

MPP Milligan concluded by stating, "If the Wynne government can find $300,000 to give to a wealthy musician like Drake for 'entertainment', surely it can find a similar amount to keep NCDC's doors open."

SOURCE NORTHUMBERLAND CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE

For further information: Clare Paterson, Northumberland Child Development Centre, Tel: (905) 885-8137 Ext. 212, clare@ncdcent.com, www.ncdcent.com; James Roy, Legislative Assistant, Office of Rob Milligan, MPP, Northumberland-Quinte West, Tel: (416) 540-3693, james.roy@pc.ola.org