Kildare children will benefit from a pilot project of therapy services in a number of schools and pre-schools from September, Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has said.

Deputy Heydon said  “15 pre-schools, 22 primary schools, 5 secondary schools and 2 special schools across Kildare will receive supports from speech and language and occupational therapists.

“Parents always tell me that they would like to see a more joined up approach to delivering services that are tailored to their child’s needs.

“This pilot model will bring together therapists and educational professionals who have until now often operated separately.

“This also allows a focus on early intervention which can have a transformative impact on a child’s progression.

“It is important to be able to give our children the best possible start in life and I am delighted to welcome these additional supports.

“This Government is committed to ensuring that every child is given the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

The model for this project has been developed by the Departments of Education and Skills, Children and Youth Affairs and Health and will complement existing HSE funded provision of essential therapy services.

The 150 schools and pre-schools selected for the pilot are located within HSE Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) Region 7 which includes West Dublin, Kildare, and West Wicklow.

The schools and pre-schools were chosen to be representative of the overall educational system and include settings in disadvantaged areas, large, small, urban and rural schools and pre-schools as well as those with differing special educational needs.

These schools and pre-schools will receive the support of 19 speech and language therapists and 12 Occupational Therapists.

The NCSE will also recruit 2 National Co-ordinators to manage the project. €2.25m is being allocated to Phase One of the project in 2018.