The needs of a child can vary from mild to severe to gifted and in a variety of areas: speech, fine motor, sensory, regulation, gross motor, behaviour, medical, cognitive and much more. Early Intervention is a collaborative process aimed at helping children grow and develop along with their families and extended support systems (i.e. day homes/daycare, teachers, extended family). This Early Intervention is funded by Alberta Education to provide support for 3-5 year olds in these formative years.
Screening/Assessment & Funding Process
CONSENT FORMS: Parents of children ages 3-5 complete a consent form allowing their child to be screening by a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and an Occupational Therapist (OT).
SCREENING & ASSESSMENT: After the child is screened and if concerns are identified as mild/moderate or severe, parents will be notified by a therapist.
FUNDING APPLICATION: Parents will complete a Funding Application form and provide a copy of the birth certificate for children who are eligible to receive Program Unit Funding (PUF) or Mild/Moderate (MM) funding.
ALBERTA ED APPROVAL: BCESA will apply for Alberta Education funding for each individual child. Once Alberta Education gives funding approval, specialists and the education team, will begin programming.
Mild/Moderate (MM) Funding
This level of funding provides services for children with Mild to Moderate delays in one area such as speech-language or motor development. This funding is available for a maximum of two years, one of which must be the child’s kindergarten year. The child must be registered in and be attending a preschool, daycare or community program for a minimum of 475 hours for the school year (September-June). MM children receive an Individualized Program Plan at the beginning of the year and an updated IPP at the end of the year (no parent meetings required).
Program Unit Funding (PUF)
Program Unit Funding is available to children who have been identified with severe delays and require support within their learning environment. PUF is available for a maximum of three years, one of which must be the child’s kindergarten year. The child must be registered in and be attending a preschool, daycare or community program that offers a minimum of 300 hours for 3-years olds, 400 hours for 4-years olds and 475 hours for kindergarteners, during the school year (September-June). PUF children receive an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) three times a year with parent meetings (October, March and June).
Speech/Language Therapy focuses on communication problems and speech disorders. Delays in speech and language can have a negative impact on school learning. If a delay exists, the longer the problem persists, the harder it is to treat. Early Intervention is key to correcting most speech/language delays in these formative years.
Occupational Therapy helps kids improve their performance in daily occupations such as fine motor skills, self-help skills (e.g. eating and dressing), problem solving, attention, and sensory processing skills, using play-based activities and strategies.
Positive Behaviour Support focuses on addressing behaviour concerns and teaching new skills. It has many applications including: analyzing challenging behaviour, improving language skills, enhancing social behaviours, reducing anxiety, and much more.