TOPEKA, Kan. -- Following a very difficult decision making process, Jim Leiker, President & CEO of Easter Seals Capper Foundation, announced Wednesday (2/13) that their inclusive childcare and preschool program known as Kidlink will close effective Friday, March 29, 2013.
Leiker commented, “After extensive analysis, we feel the Capper resources currently being used to support the Kidlink program would be used more effectively in other areas of pediatric services that are lacking in our community.“ Capper established the Kidlink Childcare and Preschool Program in 1984 because there were few options in Topeka for children with disabilities to play and learn in an environment that included typically developing children. Leiker said, “We celebrate the fact that thirty years after this program began, it is no longer unique to see typically developing children and children with disabilities interacting together in classrooms, childcare programs and in recreation programs.”
Parents of children currently enrolled in Kidlink will be assisted in finding other preschool and childcare placements in the community or public schools.
Easter Seals Capper Foundation will continue to provide services to children and adults with disabilities and their families.
Leiker reported, “Significant waiting lists continue to exist for children’s services, especially in the areas of occupational therapy, speech language therapy and behavioral therapy, which we will reallocate resources to address.”
He encouraged parents and caregivers who have concerns about whether a child is meeting his or her milestones to take the free, online Ages & Stages Questionnaire at www.makethefirstfivecount.org to find out if a child is at risk.