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Sunday, Apr 02, 2023

Budget to permanently include special needs children project, benefiting 6,000 annually

Budget to permanently include special needs children project, benefiting 6,000 annually

The 2023/2024 Budget to be revealed on Wednesday would permanently include a program assisting children with special needs as a regular project, with over HK$100 million in subsidy annually to benefit around 6,000 kids under six across Hong Kong, a source said.
The Social Welfare Department has launched a project named "the Pilot Project on Tier 1 Support Services in Kindergartens/ Kindergarten-cum-Child Care Centers(the Pilot Project)" in August 2020 to provide early intervention services for children awaiting assessment by Child Assessment Centres (CACs), or children assessed by CACs to have borderline developmental problems.

Under the project, children with borderline developmental problems would be provided with short-term training for behavior and emotion. The project also offered consultation and training to teachers and childcare workers, and support to children’s parents.

The Pilot Project was originally scheduled to end in August this year, however, it is learned that it would be included in this year’s budget blueprint as a regular program of the government.

"Around 70 percent of kids who participated in the project have entered primary schools successfully with assistance," said the government.

"The project will be permanently fixed as it can contribute to kids’ development, reducing the cost of special education for the kids’ families and, as a result, reducing the public expenditure, " the government noted.

A total of 80 kindergartens and kindergarten-cum-childcare centers have joined the project, and the figure would be expanded to 900, revealed the source.
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