To encourage NGOs to start and develop specific service for children aged 0 to 3 from deprived families, the Simon K Y Lee Children’s Fund has launched two phases of Early Start Project for Infants and Preschoolers since 2012. The 1st phase was organized by Caritas Integrated Family Service Centre – Tsuen Wan (East), serving 180 families from deprived backgrounds. After its conclusion in 2013, some parent participants formed mutual support groups. They kept going to the Centre regularly and took turns to organise and conduct parent-child activities, utilizing the experience and skills learned from the Project to help each other.
Seeing the positive feedback and service needs, the Children’s Fund launched the 2nd phase of the Project in early 2014. We partnered with six NGOs and the districts covered have spread to including Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Wong Tai Sin, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Southern District, Sai Kung and Central & Western District, benefiting about 440 families. The Project contains:
- Preschoolers’ programmes including playgroups, reading groups and baby massage groups to enhance the cognitive, language, social and emotional development of infants and preschoolers.
- Parent training including Child-Centred Play Therapy and Triple P Effective Parenting workshops to improve the parents’ parenting skills.
- Talks, consultation, assessment and referral service by professionals such as dentists, nurses and speech therapists to enhance the parents’ knowledge on child development and provide follow-up for preschoolers found to have developmental problems.
- Home visits to new mothers by trained volunteers and mutual parent support groups to provide a platform for peer interaction and support.
Funding amount (service and research): $2.43M