Mission Iā€™mPossible 2 Programme Aims to Identify Children with Developmental Needs Earlier And Provide Enhance Support For Parents



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PAP Community Foundation (PCF), KK Womenā€™s and Childrenā€™s Hospital (KKH) and Lien Foundation launch a new programme to enhance identification and support of children with developmental needs.


ļ»æSource: Pixabay

A new initiative by PCF, KKH and Lien Foundation, brings educators, therapists, nurses and social workers together to provide support for children with developmental needs and their parents.

Mission I'mPossible 2

Through a series of different initiatives, the pilot programme,Ā Mission Iā€™mPossible 2 (MIP2) seeks to closely integrate education, healthcare and social services and deliver them from within preschools.Ā 

Under MIP2, a School-based Child Development Unit (SCDU), made up ofĀ therapists, nurses, early interventionists, social workers, nutritionists and curriculum specialists, will rove around preschools and work with teachers to provide holistic support for children with developmental needs.

Early childhood educators will also be trained toĀ identify and support children with developmental needs.

Screening At An Earlier Age

Currently,Ā children attending preschools where theĀ Development Support and Learning Support ProgrammeĀ (DS-LS Programme) is conducted are screened for developmental needs at the ages of 5 and 6.Ā 

In MIP2, the age of screening will be lowered to as early as 2 months old. Children identified to have developmental needs will be further evaluated and offered support within the preschools or early intervention centres. The most appropriate intervention programme will be identified for the child.

Types of SupportĀ 

Support will be provided for children from pilot preschools transitioning to the next leg of their education journey. Parents will receive supportĀ in areas such as parenting, self-care, family and parent-child activities, and navigation of government schemes and processes.

The MIP2 team will also explore ways to reduce the logistical challenges faced by concerned parents, who generally need to visit a primary care doctor (such as one at a polyclinic) for aĀ preliminary assessment first, before a further evaluation at the KKH Department of Child Development (DCD) if deemed needed by the doctor.

ImplementationĀ 

MIP2 will be gradually implemented over four years in 16 PCF operated preschools in Punggol and Sengkang. The programmeĀ will cost S$12.1 million, of which $9.27m is a gift from the LienĀ Foundation, with the balance funded by PCF and KKH.

After four years, a study will be conducted to assess the lessons from this pilot.

MIP2 builds on MIP1, which was launched in 2009 by PCF, KKH and Lien Foundation. The three-year programme piloted in 25 preschools. Upon its completion, the programme was adapted by the Government and renamedĀ as the DS-LS Programme.Ā ItĀ is currently in place in more than 600 preschools and is available to more than 40 per centĀ of preschoolers aged 5 to 6.Ā 

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This article is prepared by

Malini Pannirselvam
Dedicated writer by day, avid reader by night, language fanatic all the time, and aunt to nieces and nephews every day

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