Early Childhood Program
Available for children from birth until the time they enter school, OCTC's Early Childhood Program (ECP) includes the following services:
Getting Started Services/Wee Start Services
As a first step to services following a referral to the centre, Getting Started Services/Wee Start Services offers families of children under 6 years of age access to a multidisciplinary team to address concerns and offer discipline-specific strategies in the areas of communication, socialization, play skills, self-help skills and behaviour.
At the Getting Started Services/Wee Start Services clinic visit, the parent and child are scheduled to meet with one or more of the following professionals for screening and consultation: an Early Childhood Educator, a Social Worker, a Speech-Language Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist and a Physiotherapist.
If needed, parent can be referred for additional support to address behavioural and nutritional concerns. Individual, educational or training sessions are available based on the child's developmental profile and needs.
Children aged 21 months and under are seen at Wee Start Services while children over 21 months and under 6 years of age at Getting Started Services.
For more information regarding Getting Started Services, please contact Cecile Bisson:
613-737-0871, ext. 2293
Assessment & Diagnosis
Assessment and Diagnosis services are provided by Developmental Paediatricians and Psychologists for children with physical and developmental concerns throughout the OCTC region.
Infant & Child Development
Infant and Child Development is a prevention and early intervention service for infants and young children from birth to age five who have a physical and/or developmental disability, or are at risk of a developmental delay.
OCTC provides Infant and Child Development Services for children and families residing in the Ottawa area. Infant and Child Development Services in the County areas are provided by partner organizations in each community.
For more information regarding Infant & Child Development Services, please contact Sandra Hartnell:
Therapy Teams provide assessment, treatment, consultation, and education tailored to your child's needs from specialists such as Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Social Workers and Assistants.
Teams are located throughout the OCTC region at Smyth, Kanata, Cornwall and Renfrew.
Therapy Team for Community Preschool Service
The Therapy Team for Community Preschool Service is a multidisciplinary therapy team consisting of Physiotherapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Social Workers who offer intervention to children attending licensed child care programs in the City of Ottawa.
Consultation is provided to families and Early Childhood Educators in the child care setting.
Therapists model and demonstrate appropriate activities to enable the child to develop functional skills in a natural environment.
The OCTC Preschool
The OCTC Preschool is a half day licensed program for children with physical disabilities and accompanying developmental difficulties who require a specialized environment.
Our mandate is to offer a therapeutically based preschool program with resources and support to the child and family, which can include services of Early Childhood Educators, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech-Language Pathologists.
The Preschool is offered in both official languages for children 2-5 years of age who receive services from OCTC and live in the City of Ottawa.
There are three OCTC Preschool sites of service:
- Smyth Rd./central Ottawa (English)
- Kanata/western Ottawa (English)
- Vanier/eastern Ottawa (French)
For more information about OCTC Preschool, contact Janice Forbes, Preschool Clinical Coordinator:
613-737-0871, ext. 4331
Eastern Ontario Blind Low Vision Early Intervention
The Eastern Ontario Blind Low Vision Early Intervention Program gives children who are born blind or with low vision the best possible start in life.
Provided in partnership with OCTC, the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre coordinates services for Eastern Ontario which includes the City of Ottawa, Renfrew County, and the counties of Prescott-Russell and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
The program provides assessment, treatment, consultation, education and support to families and children in their home as well as to Early Childhood Educators in child care settings.
To learn more about developmental milestones of vision, please visit The Ontario Ministry of Children & Youth Services' blind low vision webpage.
To make a referral or for more information, contact Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre:
How to Access the ECP
- First, please review the descriptions on this page of the various elements of the Early Childhood Program (ECP) that OCTC offers.
- Next, check out Intake Services to find out the steps for registering for the services that interest you or your family member.
- Once you have an idea of which elements of the ECP might best match your needs, call the person listed at the bottom of the element description (if applicable) or call Intake Services at 613-737-0871, ext. 4425, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information or to register.
*Please note that clients of OCTC may access services delivered through more than one Program team, please contact Intake for information.