The SPOT program, offered by KidsAbility in Waterloo Region only, is a service that promotes and supports the inclusion of children who have special needs or disabilities in licensed early learning and childcare programs (ELCC), both centre-based and home childcare programs. The goal of the SPOT program is to support Early Childhood Educators and childcare providers in Waterloo Region as they encourage the speech-language, physical and social development of children from birth to six years of age.
SPOT offers: Kinesiology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech-Language services
The SPOT team provides consultation with ELCC staff through:
- Child Assessment
- Activity Recommendations
- Teaming Up with ECE’s to Develop Goals and Strategies
- Social and Physical Environment Assessment and Recommendations
- Physical Health and Activity support
- Referral Assistance
SPOT therapists provide an assessment that includes observation in the child’s program, consultation with the ECE team and parents in an information-sharing meeting, followed by a written report.
The SPOT team works to support Early Childhood Educators in:
- Creating safe and caring environments, that promote a sense of inclusion and belonging
- Focusing on early identification and intervention in order to nurture the child’s health and well-being
- Developing programs where children can actively participate and be engaged in all aspects of the curriculum
- Encouraging and facilitating activities so that children are given the opportunity to communicate and to express themselves in a variety of ways
Follow-up consultations will occur at the request of the childcare. Programs are encouraged to keep their SPOT therapist informed about the child’s progress or any questions they have. A child's file will remain open for 6 months following assessment. If at that time, the services of the SPOT therapist have not been requested, the childcare and parents will be contacted. If the childcare does not feel further consultation is needed, the child will be discharged from SPOT services. Should concerns arise following discharge, the child can be re-referred providing eligibility criteria is met.
Child from 0 – 6 years of age/entry into Grade One, attending a licensed child early learning and care program in Waterloo Region.
Referrals can be made from Early Learning and Child Care Programs, other agencies, and families. To make a referral, please visit the referral tab on the Special Needs Resourcing Collaborative website.
The SPOT program offers educational opportunities to Early Childhood Educators and parents in a variety of ways including:
- In-service sessions
Registration fees may apply for workshops. Many SPOT workshops qualify as educational credits for the childcare “Raising the Bar on Quality” initiative.
SPOT services are funded by the Region of Waterloo, through KidsAbility’s membership in the Child Care Special Needs Resourcing Collaborative. There are no fees for any SPOT assessment or consultation services.