Ministry of Social and Family development, Singapore announces initiatives to support children with developmental needs

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All schools will appoint an inclusion coordinator to ensure timely intervention for pre school children with developmental needs as well as more training for preschool teachers. These are among the initiatives to give every child a good start. Inclusion coordinator will work with other teachers to look for children’s potential developmental needs. This will facilitate early intervention and connect parents to support services earlier.
The coordinator will be selected amongst existing pre school staff. They will be trained by the early childhood development agency. Children are precious and an environment must be created where they can thrive and they can feel included and accepted. Therefore they have set up the inclusive preschool work group. Through this the government has worked with partners across the health, education and social sectors to study how better support can be given to children with developmental needs.
The new role will help speed up the assessment. Currently it takes about a month for some educators to properly assess children with such needs. According to one of the inclusion coordinators the size may vary for example the areas that they look out for would be the speech and language development. They normally look out for children who show delay in developmental milestones. The inclusion coordinator assists children as well as families to overcome the challenges that they may face.
In addition an inclusive support program pilot will be launched to better integrate early intervention and early childhood services. It’s targeted at children aged three to six who require medium levels of early intervention support. They hope to give children a one stop service where child care services and early intervention are both provided within the preschool setting. This will allow the early interventionists or therapists to work alongside the teachers to co-create a meaningful learning experience.
More preschools will also adopt two programs for children who require low levels of support. In particular, 60% of the preschoolers will benefit from the development support learning program by 2025.

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