The news of St.Giles Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre in Burnie ending its childcare services should be seen as opportunity for reform.
That's according to Braddon Federal Labor candidate Chris Lynch, who said this was a chance to "improve how specialised services to children who need it here in Braddon, are delivered".
Currently, St. Giles offers both childcare and early intervention therapies to children on the autism spectrum.
Come late January, the childcare services at the centre will cease, with the incompatibility of the childcare model and the end of a Commonwealth rant cited by chief executive Andrew Billing as two major factors for the decision.
It will take political will to remove legislative burdens.- Chris Lynch
Mr Lynch, who is an employee of St.Giles, said increasing access to specialised services through outreach to mainstream childcare centres should be the focus of both State and Federal Governments.
"There are isolated examples of how this works on the Coast, but it will take political will to remove legislative burdens, and potentially require some specifically targeted funding, to allow operators such as St.Giles to continue to provide a high-impact model of a therapy-based service," he said.
Mr Lynch said there also needed to be more opportunities for specialist training, to alleviate "chronic skills shortages" being experienced across the sector.
He said he would be raising this with National Disability Insurance Scheme shadow minister Bill Shorten, who visited St.Giles earlier this year to praise its services.
Federal Braddon member Gavin Pearce said he had been briefed by Andrew Billing on Wednesday afternoon, after he learned of the changes.
As a result, Mr Pearce said he would be raising "the ongoing challenges of the cost of child care for families with children with special needs with the Federal Minister".
He said he believed the current system "should reflect the specific challenges of those living in rural and isolated communities."
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