I hope you and your families are keeping well and settling into a ’new’ normal. We know it has been a busy couple of weeks as many family members return to work, school / preschool after a long summer!
We want to take this opportunity to update you on the Early Intervention Home Teaching Service. There have been a few changes in the background following the recent AGM.
Many of you will know Rebecca Smyth who has been the Early Intervention Coordinator for a number of years now. She has decided to step back from this role and it will now fall to us – Ann Fallon and Andrea McArdle – to fill these big shoes.
A little bit about us … we are both Mammies of three, living in Drogheda, who have little ones currently enrolled in the Early Intervention Programme. Bobby is just shy of 2 years of age and Joanie is just over 2 and a half so we fully appreciate how important this service is to our families. We are delighted to be able to assist with this programme and are working towards its resumption with the Branch Committee and the home tutors.
We know some families have enquired when the service will restart and we had hoped that it would be from 7 September. However, we have been asked by Down Syndrome Ireland (head office) to postpone its resumption, based on current HSE advice, until at least the 21 September. This is basically to allow a period of time for the schools to return safely and monitor if there is any immediate impact on the spread of Covid-19 within the community.
We should mention that the Branch Committee has been working hard over the summer to establish a COVID-19 Response Plan that includes a range of procedures and guidelines relating to each of its services in advance of their re-commencement, which includes finalising the protocols for the Early Intervention Programme. Please be assured that the safety of our families, children and home tutors is our absolute priority and we will be circulating the finalised protocols well in advance of the service resuming so that each family has time to consider what is involved and if they are comfortable to proceed with visits at this time. As Rebecca mentioned in an earlier email, we understand every child and family circumstances can differ so there is no issue if you wish to suspend these visits temporarily.
We will be in touch again soon to update you on developments and please feel free to contact us at any stage if you have any queries or concerns. You can contact us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, stay safe and well.
Ann and Andrea
Ann Fallon and Andrea McArdle
Early Intervention Programme Coordinators
Down Syndrome Ireland