In partnership with Edmonton Public Schools CASA is excited to have launched the new Pre-Kindergarten Program (PKP). PKP is a tertiary-level, multidisciplinary diagnostic and therapeutic educational resource for children aged 4 and 5, and their families.

The program provides intensive family-centered therapeutic education, developmental intervention, and clinical care in a specialized early childhood setting. It consists of two classrooms with separate morning and afternoon classes of 7 children. Children attend half-days Tuesday through Friday for the 10 month school year. Families are supported by a multidisciplinary care team of professionals from the areas of education, psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics, social work, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology.

As a day program, many services and supports are provided “under one roof” within the everyday environment of a play-based classroom. This integrated and coordinated approach enables an intensity of care that increases child and parent strengths and builds capacity and resiliency while remediating areas of need. These areas of need include challenges with emotional regulation, social competence, or developmental delays.

As an early intervention program, PKP recognizes that reaching children early with evidence-based assessment and intervention is critical to promoting healthy social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development. It is well known that the first few years of a child’s life are a particularly sensitive period in the process of development, laying a foundation in childhood and beyond for mental wellness and health.

The opening of the program has enhanced the continuum of care within the Edmonton zone for early intervention and preschool mental health. It is also building capacity with increased opportunities for training and research. Staff from PKP will be presenting at the Edmonton Public Schools conference for Early Childhood Educators. As a community resource, PKP invites fellow professionals to attend the program to see it in action and engage in mutual reflection and learning about ways to meet the needs of children. CASA is excited to continue to work with our community partners. This hopefully will include the new research chair.

The creation of the Pre-Kindergarten Day Program is part of CASA’S ongoing commitment to offer the right amount of care, in the right way to families, at the right point in time. CASA is excited to continue working with community partners.