School-Based Support Model to Prevent and Address Challenging Social-Emotional Difficulties of Kindergarten Children

In Hong Kong, it is estimated that 7% to 8% of kindergarten children experience social-emotional difficulties (Note 1). Nevertheless, support for these children is inadequate and kindergarten teachers may not have enough capacity and training to deal with the issue. This often affects classroom management, and also teaching and learning effectiveness of all the children in the class.
In view of this, the Simon K Y Lee Children’s Fund launched the Project “3Es: Early Prevention, Early Identification and Early Intervention: A School-Based Support Model of Social-Emotional Development for Kindergarten Children” (“3E® ”) in 2015. The 4-year project is led by Prof Kevin Chung, Head of Department of Early Childhood Education, The Education University of Hong Kong (“EdUHK”).   (Please click here for project website)
3E® aims to develop a tiered model of Response to Intervention (“RTI”). For “Tier 1”, training has been provided for all K2 and K3 children to enhance their social-emotional competency (early prevention). A screening tool has been designed and validated for teachers to identify children who do not respond well in Tier 1 (early identification). These children, who are at risk of socio-emotional difficulties, enter “Tier 1+” and receive intensive and tailored training in small group settings (early intervention). Besides, parents have been provided with seminars and workshops to enhance their knowledge and skills in assisting their children. 24 kindergartens have participated in the project. More than 4000 students and their parents and 200 teachers have benefited.
Kindergarten teachers have been be trained to deliver the above intervention and screening. The model will be incorporated into the curriculum of EdUHK’S bachelor and professional training programmes targeting future and in-service kindergarten teachers.
No research work has been devoted in Hong Kong before to examining the social-emotional competence of K2 and K3 children and their parents. The findings from the project will push the frontier of understanding concerning the effective integration of early identification and preventive intervention in education research as well as helping young children at risk.
Funding amount : $19M
Note 1: One in every thirteen preschoolers is suspected to have developmental delays. (2014, November). Hong Kong Economic Times. Retrieved from Sin, K. F., Lan, Y., & Lui, M. (2014, October). Teacher preparation for identifying and intervening children at risk of developmental. Paper presented at The 17th Unesco-ApeidInternational Conference, Pullman Hotel King Power, Thailand.