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Services in pre-schools and child care centres

The first day for any child at either child care or a pre-school is usually a big event. For kids living with disability, this is even more so. Depending on the level of disability, planning is usually required to make sure that it is an enjoyable experience.

What changes can be expected in how therapy support is provided?

Once kids living with disability start to attend Child Care or Preschool they may still receive some intervention home but therapists may also be involved at the Child Care Centre or Preschool.

 

How can Novita help prepare for the child attending a child care centre or preschool?

Novita staff help by:

  • talking with parents about what is important in choosing a child care centre or preschool
  • visiting places that parents are considering, to look at accessibility (for example, the need for ramps and or rails)
  • planning for, and requesting equipment that may be needed
  • talking to the staff about how to help the child join in, as much as possible, activities with other kids
  • attending planning meetings at the Child Care or Preschool
  • providing staff training, if requested.

 

How are special supports planned in the centre or preschool?

  • For kids living with disability, preschool staff have a meeting called a Negotiated Education Plan (NEP). This involves discussing and writing down the special things that the child will need so that they can join in activities. Therapists are often invited to these meetings to provide ideas to the staff.
  • Once the child has settled into child care centre or preschool, therapists may visit them there regularly, but may also continue to see the child at home.
  • For some kids, preschool or child care may be the first time that they require formal written health care plans (written information to guide staff in dealing with special health concerns for a child).

Ryan’s story

Ryan is a 4-year-old child with a physical disability who attends preschool 4 mornings each week. A combination of preschool and home visits are made to assist Ryan.

When staff visit the preschool, they:

  • join in some of the activities that Ryan is doing to get a good idea of his day
  • spend time suggesting to his helper and teacher at preschool ways that Ryan can:
  • join in
  • use his equipment
  • practise certain things
  • understand what they are saying
  • get along with his classmates
  • be helped at fruit time and lunch times
  • work with Ryan on a computer – sometimes this may happen with a buddy from the class. In this way, Ryan can practise things that he needs to learn to get ready for going to school next year.

Ryan’s parents sometimes choose to visit the preschool when the therapists are there so they can keep in touch with what is happening.