A program support group (PSG) brings together key people to support the inclusion of children with disability or developmental delay, or complex medical needs, from the time of enrolment at kindergarten until they move to school. It is organised and run by the early childhood teacher.
The group may include:
- the early childhood teacher
- the child’s parent/carer(s)
- early childhood intervention professionals
preschool field officer
- medical practitioners, therapists or other allied health professionals
- a support person – if the child’s parent/guardian/carer(s) chooses to use one.
Role of a program support group
- should meet before the child starts kindergarten. This is so the kindergarten can identify, and make, any
reasonable adjustments before the child starts.
- develops a kindergarten inclusion support plan for the child
- meets at least once a term to monitor and plan for the child’s learning and development
- shares knowledge and understanding of the child’s interests, abilities and support needs
- develops an inclusive program that is responsive to the child’s learning and development needs
- identifies existing resources and support already available within the kindergarten
- supports the child’s move into the kindergarten program and into school
- coordinates services and supports for the child.
Benefits of a program support group
A key benefit of the PSG is the opportunity for educators to work with families and other professionals to meet the child’s needs.
Other benefits include:
- giving families the chance to share their knowledge and understanding of their child’s interests, abilities and needs
- families can advocate for their child’s ongoing needs
- sharing information through regular meetings of the group means that planning reflects a common understanding of the child’s ongoing learning, development and wellbeing needs
- assist families to feel supported through the transition into kindergarten and into school.
As part of the
Kindergarten Inclusion Support (KIS) program, the PSG also assists in the completion of a Kindergarten Inclusion Support Plan and decides on whether a KIS application is required.