CHILDREN with special needs at a St Clair after-hours school care centre could have nowhere to go, unless $90,000 is found.
St Marys District Baptist Church After Hours School Care looks after 32 children with additional needs, such as ADHD, anxiety disorders and autism.
‘‘But we only receive funding for five workers at the minimum wage,’’ the centre’s assistant director and behavioural therapist, Daniel Harris, said.
‘‘We receive $49,000 but it costs us $135,000.’’
Mr Harris tried appealing to Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she visited the region last week.
‘‘I was on a Sunrise forum on the Monday,’’ he said.
He explained that without additional funding, the region’s children with additional needs could lose vital services.
Mr Harris said the $90,000 deficit meant the centre could not invest in its other services, such as its bus service to and from local schools.
He said the only thing keeping the centre open was the low rent charged by the Baptist Church.
He said the centre provided benefits beyond after-hours care.
‘‘I’m also a trained behavioural therapist,’’ Mr Harris said.
‘‘To send a child to a behavioural therapist would usually cost $50,000 a year.
‘‘But I’m here because I see the value in what we’re doing.
‘‘If we have to turn away these 32 children there’s nowhere else for them to go.’’
The Star contacted local McMahon federal MP Chris Bowen’s office for comment and is awaiting a response.