Attention! Be advised the Integrated Service Model is FULL for the 2023 Entry to School year. This model is being offered as a pilot for up to 20 children this year on a first-come, first-served basis. At this time, our Group-Based Model is available for families who have received their invitation letter from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
Ontario Autism Program – Entry to School
Grandview Kids has partnered with Lake Ridge Community Support Services, Resources for Exceptional Children and Youth – Durham Region, and The Regional Municipality of Durham to offer the Entry to School program as part of the Ontario Autism Program, Early Years Pathway. This partnership is known as the Ontario Autism Program – Durham (OAP-D).
About the program
The OAP Entry to School program is funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services at no cost to parents. The program will help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder prepare to enter school (kindergarten or grade 1) for the first time.
The Entry to School Program has two components:
- The first six months: focuses on building your child’s school readiness skills (“Getting Ready for School”). This component will begin in late February 2023.
- The next six months: focuses on supporting your child’s transition to school. This component will begin in September 2024.
Children learn best when they are having fun. The Entry to School curriculum reflects the play and inquiry-based learning approach used by kindergartens in Ontario schools. Through engaging and child-led activities, our team will support your child’s development in six skill areas:
- Communication – such as conversation, expressing wants and needs, understanding words and language, social communication, and non-verbal communication
- Play – such as toy exploration, and engaging in group play/games
- Social interaction – such as understanding of social boundaries, interactions with peers, and learning new behaviours by observing/imitating peers
- Functional routines – such as following classroom routines, and self-help skills such as dressing and toilet training
- Behavioural self-management – such as emotional regulation and being able to wait their turn
- Pre-academics, learning and attention – such as developing new learning skills, working within a group setting, and independent work
Two service options are available to families in Durham Region:
Option 1 – Group-Based Service Model
Please review the 2023 Entry to School parent/caregiver handbook for more information about what to expect and your next steps after registering. Click here to access the Group-Based Service Model caregiver handbook.
Children attend a group-based, skill-building program for two hours and 45 minutes a day, up to five days a week for up to six months. Children can enroll in either a morning program or an afternoon program. The program is offered in a number of locations across the Durham Region. Each group has up to 9 children, with a ratio of one staff to every three children. The group setting is intended to be similar to the kindergarten classroom. The environment is set up to help your child learn.
Here are some pictures of last year’s classrooms:
The program is led by staff with experience in applied behaviour analysis, early childhood development and supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition, a multi-disciplinary consultation team will regularly visit each classroom to support the classroom staff with program implementation.
Our multidisciplinary consultation team includes:
- Behaviour Consultants,
- Speech-Language Pathologists / Communicative Disorders Assistants,
- Occupational Therapists, and
- Transition Coordinators
Option 2 – Integrated Service Model (REGISTRATION IS FULL FOR 2023)
Please review the 2023 Entry to School parent/caregiver handbook for more information about what to expect and your next steps after registering.
Parents of children who are already enrolled full-time in a licenced child care program in the Durham Region may choose to remain in child care rather than attend the group-based program described in Option 1. The consultation team outlined above will regularly visit the childcare. They will provide consultation and coaching to your childcare team so that they can support your child’s development in the six skill areas listed above. Enrollment in this service option is a partnership between your family, your child’s childcare and the Entry to School team.
To participate in Option 2, your child must:
- Already be attending licensed childcare full-time (five days a week) in the Durham Region
- Continue to attend full-time licensed childcare throughout the six-month School Readiness period
Please note that for 2023 this option will be run as a pilot of up to 20 children. Enrollment is based on meeting the above eligibility criteria and on a first-come, first-served basis.
What are the differences between the service options?
|Group-based Service Model||Integrated Service Model|
|Half-day group program run by Entry to School staff in classrooms at various schools across the Durham Region||The program is a partnership with your licensed childcare in the Durham Region and occurs while your child attends|
|Coaching and consultation support from the consultation team occurs in the group-based program for group facilitators||Coaching and consultation support from the consultation team occurs in the childcare for educators|
|Each member of the consultation team visits the group weekly, and individual coaching and consultation support for your child are based on your child’s needs||Each member of the consultation team provides up to four hours per month of individual coaching and consultation supports based on your child’s needs|
Transition to School
The Entry to School team is available to provide up to six months of support to your child’s school team after they start school.
Transition supports may include:
- Supporting your family in completing the paperwork required by the school
- Sharing a written summary of your child’s progress in the six skill areas addressed by the Entry to School program
- Sharing strategies/techniques that were effective in supporting your child’s participation during the School Readiness component of Entry to School
- Sharing other child-specific resources and learnings
- Attending school meetings
- Providing coaching and consultation to educator teams within your child’s classroom
Eligibility for the Entry to School Program
To register for Entry to School, children must:
- be registered with the Ontario Autism Program
- have received an invitation letter from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
- be between the ages of three and six years as of December 31, 2023
- be starting school for the first time
Children are not eligible to participate in Entry to School if they are:
- receiving OAP Core Clinical Services.
- have an active OAP behaviour plan.
- already attending school.
At the time of registration, Grandview Kids’ Service Navigation team will confirm your child’s eligibility.
The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services is issuing emails and letters to families between November 2022 and February 2023. Please ensure you add OAP@Ontario.ca to your “safe sender” list.
An invitation letter is required before registering. Please register with Grandview Kids Service Navigation within four weeks of receiving your invitation letter.
Contact OAPEarlyYearsIntake@grandviewkids.ca or call Service Navigation at (905) 728-1673 ext. 2468.