Parents of children with developmental problems are dismayed that the youngsters' special kindergarten has suddenly been left without a speech therapist, apparently because of a shortage of qualified professionals in the field, reports Yediot Tel Aviv. Ten four- and five-year-olds at the kindergarten in Yad Eliyahu have been reliant on the therapist to assist them with problems in speech, co-ordination and concentration. According to the report, parents were dismayed to find that the therapist suddenly vanished at the beginning of this school year. Parents said they were sending their children to the kindergarten specifically because of the service, and the city had promised that the therapist would be there this year. "Why have a special kindergarten for these children if they don't get any special therapy?" asked one angry father. Other parents said it was obvious that the children's development was suffering from the lack of professional attention in recent months. The parents have asked the city to assist them in reinstating the therapist, but the city says the responsibility lies with the Education Ministry. A municipal spokesman said parents could turn to the health funds for therapeutic services for their children. An Education Ministry spokesman said the ministry was suffering from a severe shortage of qualified therapists and had to move the kindergarten's therapist elsewhere. A spokesman said the ministry was "not obligated" to place a therapist at a kindergarten for children with learning difficulties.