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Kids in Preschool
Services and Early Interventions

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. 

The Role of BCESA

  • To provide a team of specialists that meet the individual needs of each child funded by Alberta Education.

  • To coordinate and oversee the screening/assessment process.

  • To administer the funds for Program Unit Funding (PUF) and Mild/Moderate (MM) programs.

  • To develop an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) for each child.

  • To update Alberta Education will all documentation.

  • To provide assurance to Alberta Education of the quality of the program and financial accountability.

  • To transition funded children into a supportive school setting.

Screening/Assessment & Funding Process
Screening/Funding Process




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). 


After the child is screened and if concerns are identified as mild/moderate or severe, parents will be notified by a therapist.



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.



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 IPP at the beginning of the year and an updated IPP at the end of the year.

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). Lack of attendance in an educational setting can jeopardize a child’s funding.

Speech/Language Therapy


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


Occupational Therapy helps kids improve their performance in daily occupations such as fine motor skills, self-help skills (e.g. eating, dressing and toileting), problem solving, attention, and sensory processing skills, using play-based activities and strategies.



Physiotherapy focuses on helping gross motor function, movement, and mobility for children with movement disorders, pain, trauma, chronic disease, and developmental issues including musculoskeletal and neurological concerns.

Behaviour Therapy


Behaviour Therapy focuses on reducing challenging behaviours and teaching new skills. It has many applications, including reducing aggressive behaviour, improving language skills, enhancing social behaviours, reducing self-injurious behaviours and toileting.  Behaviour Therapy focuses on observable behaviours rather than attitudes or beliefs; results are measurable and designed to be maintained over time.

What to expect with Early Intervention services at BCESA:

All services funded by Alberta Education operate on the school calendar, September-June.  Here is a quick look at what a year of services will look like for your family.
  • Screening and Assessments begin on site with our team of specialists. 
  • Parents will receive consent forms prior to screening.
September 30th 
  • Funding Applications deadline.
  • Children who have been identified with needs will need these forms and a copy of their birth certificate handed in prior to this cutoff date.
  • Specialists begin writing reports.  Parents will receive a copy of all documentation.*
  • The BCESA team prepares the PUF Individualized Program Plan (IPP) documents outlining each child's goals for the year.  PUF Parents are required sign the IPP three times a year (October, March, June) and join the BCESA team for a meetings to discuss goals and strategies.
  • Most therapy should begin by the end of October.
  • On site therapy and visits from BECSA educators are underway. 
  • Mild Moderate (MM) funded children's IPPs are written and sent to parents for review & signatures.  MM do not require IPP meetings but parents are welcome to reach out to the team at any time.
  • Parent Workshop #1 will be offered to all families via zoom.
  • Christmas Break (2 weeks) begins at the end of December for all staff and services will resume early January.**
  • Services continue.
  • February break (1 week) for all staff.
  • PUF IPPs are updated, sent to parents for signatures and meetings are scheduled.
  • Parent Workshop #2
  • Spring break (1 week) for all staff.
  • Parent Workshop #3
  • Final IPPs are written for both PUF and MM and sent to parents for signatures.
  • PUF Parens have their final meeting with the BCESA team.
  • Services conclude at the end of June. 
*All documents are securely saved with BCESA and uploaded to Alberta Education's online portal.
**BCESA's staff follow the school calendar for Professional Development Days, statutory holidays, and breaks (here).
What to expect
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