News & Events

An Update from Early Learning


Our Special Needs Resourcing Collaborative (SNRC) is currently undergoing a change in how we provide services to our Early Learning and Child Care community.  Beginning September 2019, we will move toward a full Tiered Services model, and launch new services for children up to 12 years of age.  Each Tier will include the following:


Tier One

At Tier 1, the focus is building capacity of educators and caregivers, building relationships and collaborating on general strategies and resources.  The client is the classroom or program as a whole rather than an individual child or specific group of children.

In Tier 1, as a part of the “neighbourhood cluster” model, KW Habilitation has Resource Consultants (RC) already working in each ELCC across the region.  In this Tier, RC’s provide class-wide strategies and resources to support the inclusion of all children.

KidsAbility’s SPOT team provides Tier 1 services through either a 2-month block of OT, SLP, Kinesiology services or singular/as needed consultations upon request.


Tier Two

Tier 2 may involve screening and/or short-term consultation.  It happens in a group setting and may use specific resources and screens to determine whether a child requires more individual assessment.  With short-term collaboration, the aim is achievement of a goal within a specific timeframe, using general strategies that are targeted.

In Tier 2, both KW Habilitation and KidsAbility SPOT teams provide short term, targeted, goal-oriented supports for small groups of children in licensed ELCC programs.


Tier Three

Tier 3 involves services aimed at individual children whose needs surpass Tier 1 and 2 supports and are impacting participation in the program. It involves team-based collaboration (Educators/Caregivers, Parents, Resource Consultants, SPOT Therapists) which is essential in successfully supporting the child. If a child no longer requires Tier 3 supports, he or she will still be supported at a Tier 1 level. 

In Tier 3, the full complement of services will be available through both SPOT and KW Habilitation once the child has been deemed appropriate for services.  ELCC’s can continue to access Tier 3 services by completing full SNAP referrals, as they have been historically completing and submitting to SNAP Coordinators.

Tier 3 with KW Habilitation includes a referral to SNAP for an RC, who then supports the family, child and Educators in the inclusion of that child in the ELCC, and in their community.  These supports include providing resources, assessment and screening, creation of support plan documents, referrals to appropriate services and supports, as well as facilitation of transition to school.

Tier 3 with KidsAbility SPOT includes a referral to SNAP for SLP, OT, PT for individualized assessment and recommendations to support the inclusion of the child in their ELCC classroom with follow-up visits if required.


Services for children up to 12 years of age

The SNRC is launching services for children up to 12 years of age beginning September 3, 2019.  In an effort to ensure responsive services to all children in licensed childcare, the following changes will take place.

Services will be divided into two separate service models, though both provided by the SNRC:

  • Children 0-4 years of age (until August 31st of the year the child is eligible to enter Kindergarten) will continue to be supported in all Tiers, with the full complement of services, supports, and funding currently available.
  • Children 4-12 years of age (from September of the year child is eligible to enter school, and up until August 31st of the child’s 12th year) will be supported with TIER ONE SERVICES ONLY.


During the months of September and October, School Age Resource Consultants, along with Behaviour Consultants and a Recreation Therapist, will be spending time in school-age programs to begin to gather information on the needs of the community in order to ensure that we are building a service that is as effective and responsive as possible.  Tier one services for children aged 4-12  will operate between the hours of 2pm and 6pm.


Transition Plan for children between 4 and 6 years of age already receiving services

In September 2019 the mandate for services for KW Habilitation and KidsAbility SPOT will move to two separate 0-4 and 4-12 service models.

During the transition period (in September 2019, as the mandate for services for SNRC moves to two separate 0-4 and 4-12 service models) children born in 2015 or before, will be subject to the following eligibility criteria in order to continue with Tier 3 services.  The child must:

  • Currently be on a Resource Consultant and /or SPOT therapist’s caseload with no plans to discharge within the next 6 months
  • Not be enrolled in any formalized school system, whether it be private or specialized (Full time or Part-time)
  • Be unable to participate in the ELCC program without support
  • Meet Health, Safety, Mobility criteria, as outlined in our Enhanced Staffing process
  • Child Care is their core day


** Should you have a concern about how the above criteria may impact a child in your care, please discuss this with your Resource Consultant or SPOT therapist, and we will handle complex situations on a case by case basis


Further information regarding how to access services within our Tiered Model will be released very shortly.  Please stay tuned for further updates!



Your Special Needs Resourcing Team (KidsAbility SPOT and KW Habilitation Early Learning, Child Care and Family Resources)



Our Mandate:  To work as partners to support licensed early learning and child-care programs in meeting the diverse needs of children and families in Waterloo Region.

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