Inclusion is the philosophy and day-to-day practices that allow every child to learn and thrive in any child development and care setting in Greater Victoria.
The Supported Child Development Programs is committed to inclusion of all children, no matter their abilities. Key principles guide how the SCDP promotes the inclusion of children. See SCDP Guiding Principles (PDF).
The Supported Child Development Program has an "open" referral process. Families, care providers, and health care professionals may refer any child or youth from birth to 19 years who is at risk for being excluded from a preschool or child care opportunity, regardless of diagnosis.
Priorities for SCD resources and services take into consideration the child's age and whether the child's parents/guardians are working or going to school full-time.
The Supported Child Development Program will:
- provide support for one inclusive child development opportunity for children birth to 5 years (school entry).
- give priority to those inclusive opportunities in preschools and daycares upon completion of the Support Guide process.
- encourage families to first explore preschool or daycare settings before a consultant may consider providing support for an IAC or In-Own-Home child care arrangement.
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When parents are neither working nor going to school full-time, preschools are the primary settings for a child development opportunity. Some may offer sessions from two to five half days per week or 6 to 15 hours per week. The SCDP will support only one preschool program. Neither consultant nor extra staffing support will be provided to a child’s second preschool setting.
When both parents are working or going to school full-time, families may access SCDP supports to promote their child's inclusion in a daycare program. The SCDP consultant may approve a combination of preschool and complementary daycare hours. This combination may include a preschool and a licensed group setting or an IAC arrangement (under special circumstances as determined by the consultant). Consultation may be provided to care providers in both settings. See SCDP Contracts for more detailed information.
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The Supported Child Development Program:
- gives priority to supporting children whose parents require child care to work or go to school full-time outside school hours,
- may provide support and resources to kindercare or out of school care settings
Out of school care may take place before and/or after school. Private or public school is considered the primary development opportunity for children in this age range. Families are encouraged to explore licensed out of school care settings before an SCD consultant may approve an IAC provider or In-Own-Home arrangement.
After the family has exhausted all community alternatives, an IAC arrangement may be organized as:
- a temporary child care setting for emergency child care (e.g. a child who has been excluded from a licensed child care setting),
- a short-term coverage between inclusive child care arrangements, and
- a means of slowly joining a licensed child care setting that includes overlapping support for extended visits.
- See SCDP Contracts for more detailed information.
In-Own-Home contracts will be reserved for those children with medical complexities and extreme behavioural challenges that necessitate an extended transition into a more inclusive community child care setting. See SCDP Contracts for more detailed information.
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