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Special needs daycares fear upcoming budget cuts

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DENHAM SPRINGS - When Governor Bobby Jindal presents his budget Friday, special needs daycares will fear the worst with cuts looming.

Pedia Trust in Denham Springs is one of 21 special needs daycares in Louisiana. They could all be forced to close if Jindal puts an ax to the Medicaid-funded program.

"It would be horrible. I mean not just for her but for all the kids with special needs," said parent Becky McMurray. "Regular kids have choices to make and choices to choose from, but they won't have any, just home health and that's it."

The special needs children at Pedia Trust receive therapy, nursing and an education under the care of nurses throughout the day. These are kids that would not be accepted by standard daycares.

"We have to start kids when they're very young, and if we can get them healthy now maybe they can go on to regular school and be productive in life. I think it would be really sad if they didn't have a place to come everyday," said Director of Nursing Michelle Bruce-Gibson.

The daycare gives children the chance to socialize with others in similar situations while parents get the chance to have time of their own to work.

"I think that's probably one of the things we like best is that we see our parents as wanting to be part of our society and working and going to school and bettering themselves. Their children being here is allowing them to do that," said Bruce-Gibson.

Some say the program could be cut because it has grown larger than intended, but nurses say that's because there's a huge need.

 

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