Children with Down syndrome, like all children, need to form friendships, explore their environments, to gain confidence and self esteem, and to learn.
Local playgroups, child care, family day care and kindergarten placements (in addition to Early Intervention) provide excellent preparation for the integration of children with Down syndrome into local schools.
Please follow the links below for information on these services and helpful ideas for inclusion.
Down Syndrome Victoria groups or look for other playgroups in your area.
Child Care Centres of Victoria or Child Care Access Hotline 1800 670 305
Child Care Allocation Priorities - At times, there may be a waiting list for child care services and to ensure the system is fair, the Australian Government has “Priority of Access Guidelines” for allocating places in these circumstances.
DSWA have a great page on their website that answers many questions about Including a child with Down syndrome in day care and preschool
Down Syndrome Ireland also have a downloadable resource about Including children with Down syndrome in early childhood care and education settings.
The Association for Children with a Disability publish some excellent Kindergarten Inclusion Tip Sheets include parent stories and sheets on a range of topics.
Kindergarten Inclusion Support Packages - DEECD
Inclusion Support Program (ISP)
ISP helps child care services to build their capacity to include children with additional needs. They also provide funding if an extra staff member is required to assist with the child. However for Kindergarten the Commonwealth Special Education Program (SEP) is only provided for children with severe disabilities who:
• Show significant risk of injury to self or others
• Are extremely restricted in their capacity for movement
• Have exceptional support needs that require immediate medical intervention