What is PUF?
Alberta Education provides Program Unit Funding (PUF) for young children who have been diagnosed with a severe disability and who require additional supports and services prior to Grade 1. Maximum funding is for 3 years.
PUF is available to:
• Children with a severe disability
• Children 2.5 to 6 years of age (Note: children must be 3 years old by March 1 of the school year)
• Children accessing early childhood services (preschool, daycare or kindergarten) through an approved PUF provider
The Centre is authorized to facilitate applications for PUF funding on your behalf.
What is provided in PUF?
Educational programming is provided for children attending community preschool or daycare programs. Our certified teacher for the PUF program partners with the preschool or daycare of your choice to provide individualized services for your child. Aide support is also provided.
The services provided are:
• On-site educational aides to work with your child
• On-site visits from a speech-language pathologist
• On-site visits from an occupational therapist
• Home and site visits by the PUF teacher to ensure consistency and collaboration between home and preschool / daycare settings
• An Individualized Program Plan (IPP) developed for your child by a team of professionals, parents, and the preschool / daycare staff
• Access to additional parent training and support through the Centre
Depending on your child’s needs, other services may include:
• Consultation from a psychologist
• Consultation from a physical therapist
Why choose the Centre for my child’s PUF program?
The Centre specializes in autism supports and services and can provide additional benefits for your child and family. These may include:
Integrated Care with Specialized Services: We are also an approved Specialized Services (SS) provider through Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD). When a disability significantly limits a child’s ability to function in normal daily living, and the family is seeking additional home-based support, a child may also qualify for this funding. If a child qualifies, we highly recommend using one professional team across all settings with one integrated service and the Centre is able to provide this.
Therapeutic and Recreational Groups: Access to a variety of therapy-based and leisure groups, as well as parent education workshops. The Centre also runs an inclusive play group for 1 - 6 year olds and summer camp for children aged 3-5 years and 5-15 years.
Family Support: The Centre believes in family centered care. A respite program is available to families who may also have access to a parent mentor. It also offers Family Night, an inclusive program where entire families meet monthly for an evening of fun and support. Children and youth participate in games, activities and discussion based on age and ability in dedicated areas of the Centre. At the same time parents gather together to discuss topics of interest and to share information.
Other Supports: The Centre also has an autism library, a facility with child-friendly playrooms, newsletter, is connected to the broader autism community, has research opportunities, volunteers, and employs a wide array of autism specialists. The Centre also has a website (www.centreforautism.ab.ca) which offers information about programs and services. You will also find information about workshops and general information about autism on this site.
The Importance of Inclusion
Through inclusion opportunities, children develop new and genuine friendships with typically developing peers who model appropriate behaviors. Children with ASD have the opportunity to learn appropriate social, communication and life skills in a natural setting. In general, children attending an inclusive PUF placement are better prepared for accessing other community opportunities.
How do I apply?
For more information or to apply to the program please contact:
PUF Teacher / Coordinator