Children requiring medium levels of early intervention support are those who:
- Are assessed by a paediatrician to be diagnosed with, or suspected to have, a developmental, intellectual, sensory or physical disability, or a combination of disabilities;
- Require longer-term and more intensive support (e.g. more than six months, multiple sessions a week) than what the existing Development Support-Learning Support (DS-LS) and Development Support-Plus (DS-Plus) programmes offer; and
- Require specialised support from EI professionals and allied health professionals, i.e., therapists and psychologists.
Children who require low levels of early intervention support receive intervention under the DS-LS and DS-Plus in their preschools. These programmes provide short-term itinerant support in the preschool setting.
Children who require high levels of early intervention support may be better served by early intervention centres, which are better resourced and equipped to meet their needs. This group of children could include those who require intensive one-to-one early intervention support, or who are not able to enrol in preschools because they are much younger, medically frail or have very challenging behavioural issues. ECDA will continue to work with early intervention centres and preschools to explore opportunities for purposeful interactions between these children and their peers in preschools.
The majority of the InSP pilot preschools’ enrolment will continue to comprise typically developing children. This ensures classroom dynamics remain led by typically developing children, while catering to children with developmental needs.
The InSP pilot preschools will follow the Inclusive Preschool Workgroup's recommended cap on the proportion of children requiring low to medium levels of early intervention support, set at 20% of a preschool centre’s enrolment, with a sub-cap of 10-15% for children requiring medium levels of early intervention support for a start. The workgroup’s recommended enrolment caps were based on similar practices observed in overseas and local preschools with inclusive programmes.
A preschool with InSP will be resourced with EI professionals and visiting Allied Health Professionals (i.e. therapists and psychologists) who will provide specialist support within the preschool, similar to that provided in EIPIC centres. For pilot preschools, the preschool environment will also be enhanced with rehabilitative and assistive equipment. With these support in place, a child who requires medium levels of EI support need not travel between the preschool and the EI centre.
The curriculum in the preschool will remain unchanged for children not on the InSP. For children on the InSP, the same curriculum will be delivered using differentiated teaching methods (i.e. varying content, process, product, and/or environment), so that children with developmental needs can access the same curriculum according to their own pace. In classes with children on the InSP, EI professionals will co-plan and co-deliver curriculum and learning activities with early childhood educators. In the longer term, the use of techniques such as differentiated teaching can also benefit other children in the class.
International literature has shown that an inclusive preschool setting can help typically developing children acquire more helping behaviours towards others from a young age, without compromising on their own development. It can also help them to develop better social emotional and communication skills.
ECDA will, through the InSP pilot, study in greater detail the impact of inclusive preschool settings on child outcomes, for both children with developmental needs and typically developing children, in the Singapore context.
ECDA will consider the results of the evaluation study in assessing the value, as well as the feasibility of scaling up the InSP. Should there be a decision to extend or scale up the InSP, ECDA will work closely with both the early childhood and early intervention community to determine the implementation approach.
Comparisons with Existing EI Programmes
The similarities and differences between EIPIC and the InSP are outlined below:
1The InSP at MOE Kindergarten @ Mayflower will only be for children aged 5-6 with hearing loss requiring signing.
The EC educator and EI professional will work within the child’s preschool schedule to integrate the intervention sessions within the preschool activities. For example, the EI professional may extend theme-based activities planned by the EC educator, to work on the child’s specific developmental goals (e.g. improving his/her attention span, expressive language skills, or encouraging appropriate behaviour to help meet the child’s needs). As the EC educator conducts the general class, the EI professional will also be in the class to guide the child to support and facilitate his/her learning in the class.
You may refer to the developmental milestones in your child’s Health Booklet as reference points. If you suspect your child has developmental delays, you may bring your child to the nearest polyclinic or CHAS General Practitioners (GPs) for assessment/Childhood Developmental Screening (CDS).
If during screenings and medical check-ups, healthcare professionals in the polyclinics, paediatricians and GPs detect delays in your child’s development, your child may be referred to the Department of Child Development at KKH or Child Development Unit at NUH for further assessment and for referral to suitable EI programmes, like EIPIC or the InSP. More information on the various EI programmes is also available on ECDA’s website (https://www.ecda.gov.sg/parents/other-services/early-intervention-services) and SG Enable's Enabling Guide (https://www.enablingguide.sg/).
Prior to enrolment into any government-funded Early Intervention programmes, your child will have to be assessed by a paediatrician to require early intervention support.
- 3 to 6 years old in the year of enrolment into InSP;
- Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident;
- Assessed to require medium levels of EI support by paediatrician;
- Screened by the preschool to confirm that your child’s needs can be supported through the InSP in the preschool. Your child should also be enrolled/prepare to be enrolled for preschool services at the same preschool.
Enrolment into the InSP at your child's preschool will begin from the launch date of the InSP at the respective preschools.
Enrolment and Referral
InSP enrolment is separate from preschool enrolment. Information on referral into the InSP and contact details of the preschools piloting the InSP are available on ECDA’s website (https://www.ecda.gov.sg.sg/parents/other-services/early-intervention-services/inclusive-support-programme-(insp)).
Your child will need a recent letter/medical report from a paediatrician stating his/her condition and need for early intervention support. Please refer to ECDA’s website (https://www.ecda.gov.sg/parents/other-services/early-intervention-services/inclusive-support-programme-(insp)) for information on enrolment in the InSP.
Your child must also secure placement/or have already enrolled in the preschool to be considered for enrolment into the InSP. Enrolment into the childcare programme will follow the existing preschool enrolment.
Your child may not be concurrently enrolled in the InSP and another government-funded EI programme.
Yes. The InSP is a programme within the preschool. Hence, it is possible that your child can attend the preschool and not the InSP. As the InSP is resourced to support only children who are on the programme, children who are not on the InSP will not receive their EI support in the preschool.
Yes, your child can be considered for InSP placement if he/she is assessed by a paediatrician to require medium levels of EI support. Please refer to ECDA’s website (https://www.ecda.gov.sg/parents/other-services/early-intervention-services/inclusive-support-programme-(insp)) for details of the transfer process. If enrolment into the InSP is confirmed, your child will exit from the EIPIC/PPIP/ICCP or be removed from the waitlist.
If your child is currently receiving EI support under the DS-LS or DS-plus programmes, he/she will continue to be served under these programmes. The DS-LS and DS-Plus programmes cater to children who require low levels of EI support, offering a lower intensity of support for a shorter duration.
Yes, subject to prevailing COVID-19 safe management measures. Please contact the preschool to schedule a visit.
Children applying to enrol into InSP are further screened by the preschool to ensure the preschool is able to fully support your child's EI support needs.
The InSP is designed for children who require medium levels of EI support to access EI and learning within a preschool setting. Placement into the InSP or any particular EI programme does not automatically determine the child’s suitability for either a mainstream or special education school, as children’s developmental needs may change over time and each child responds differently to EI. In addition, the context/requirements for mainstream or special education schools are different from that of preschools.
For school-aged placement decisions, parents are advised to speak to the professionals working with their child to better understand their child’s needs and discuss the school options that would best meet these needs. Parents may also wish to refer to the resources available on MOE’s website: https://www.moe.gov.sg/special-educational-needs/resources
For all children in pilot preschools, preschool fees remain unchanged. Children enrolled under the InSP will pay an additional fee for the programme, on top of the preschool fees. Typically developing children and children with developmental needs not enrolled under the InSP do not need to pay this additional InSP fee. For more information on fees, please refer to ECDA’s website (https://www.ecda.gov.sg/parents/other-services/early-intervention-services/inclusive-support-programme-(insp)).
All government-funded EI programmes have subsidy schemes in place to help families defray the programme fees. Means-testing will be conducted to decide how much subsidy should be given. If you need further financial assistance, please approach the preschool staff to enquire on additional subsidy schemes by the organisation during your child's intake screening. You may also approach your nearest Family Service Centre (FSC) or Social Service Office (SSO) to apply for financial aid.