Prague, April 25 (CTK) – Regular Czech nursery schools do not accept children who suffer from various allergies and other slight health problems, such as Coeliac disease, a mild form of epilepsy and asthma, though this stance is at variance with law, daily Pravo writes yesterday.
They often send their parents to special facilities for children with serious disorders, Pravo adds.
It says parents are usually not willing to “fight” nursery schools and they either seek a more tolerant kindergarten or send their children to a private one, Pravo writes.
It refers to a case of a child who needed a special diet and the nearest nursery school, in which the parents wanted to register their child, refused to prepare it.
“They asked me to bring all food for the child though it was fully unnecessary. It would suffice to check what foodstuffs they buy. On top of that, they said they cannot store my food in common refrigerators and wanted me to buy a special fridge and a microwave,” the mother told Pravo, adding that she chose a private kindergarten eventually.
Many parents of children with slight disabilities have described a similar experience, Pravo writes.
Regular nursery schools often claim that they are not able to look after children with a permanent diagnosis and recommend a special nursery school, Veronika Dolezilova, from the Parents for Inclusion association, told Pravo.
However, there are only 115 special nursery schools in the Czech Republic with a population of 10.5 million and access to them is limited. They usually focus on a certain type of disability, such as a visual impairment or mental disorders and their equipment and toys are adapted accordingly.
Dolezilova says if a regular nursery school rejects a child with a slight health problem, the parents should demand its written decision with justification, which the school is usually not willing to issue.
If a kindergarten director writes that an allergy is the reason for rejecting a child, the parents can appeal the decision, referring to the anti-discrimination law from 2009. They can turn to the regional office and courts, Dolezilova adds.
However, most parents do not want to argue with the nursery school for a year or two and they prefer finding a more accommodating institution that accepts children with slight health problems, or a private kindergarten, in which they have to pay quite a lot.
“No one cares since pre-school education is a marginal political interest,” Dolezilova told Pravo.