Entry to School

The Entry to School (ETS) is a Ministry-funded Ontario Autism Program (OAP). This program helps prepare your child to get ready for school and is a partnership between local school boards and community-based OAP service providers.

Entry to School includes two main parts:

1.    The first part is a six-month, group-based, skill-building program, focused on helping children develop school-readiness skills in six areas:

  • Communication – such as conversation, expressing wants and needs, understanding words and language, social communication, and non-verbal communication
  • Play – such as toy exploration, and engaging in group play/games
  • Social interaction – such as understanding of social boundaries, interactions with peers, and learning new behaviours by observing/imitating peers
  • Functional routines – such as following classroom routines, and self-help skills such as dressing and toilet training
  • Behavioural self-management – such as emotional regulation and being able to wait their turn
  • Pre-academics, learning and attention – such as developing new learning skills, working within a group setting, and independent work

Your child will join other children in a half-day program that runs 5 days a week for 6 months.  The program will be led by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals that are knowledgeable about autism. The group-based part of the program will be delivered in person.  New cohorts are expected to begin in March and September. 

2.    After completing the group-based part of the program, children will start the second part of the program, which provides them with individual transition supports as they enter school. Families and educators can also access consultation services from Entry To School program staff during a child’s first six months in school, as needed. 

TVCC provides the Entry to School program to children who live in Elgin, Middlesex, London, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Grey and Bruce counties.  Our classrooms are located in Owen Sound, Stratford, St. Thomas, and London.

Eligibility Requirements:

Your child is eligible if:

  • You have received a letter of invitation to Entry to School from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
  • Your child has an autism diagnosis and is registered with the Ontario Autism Program
  • Your child is between the ages of 3 and 6 years old as of December 31 in the year they are starting school
  • Your child is entering school for the first time, Junior Kindergarten, Senior Kindergarten or Grade 1.

Access to Services

After you have received a letter of invitation from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services through the Government of Ontario, register for Entry to School by contacting the ETS Program Coordinator, Samantha McCarthy.  If you are new to TVCC, you will also need to complete TVCC’s online Intake and Referral form.

If you have questions, would like to register, or need help completing the form, contact Samantha McCarthy, Program Coordinator at:

  • Email: Samantha.McCarthy [at] tvcc.on.ca (Samantha[dot]McCarthy[at]tvcc[dot]on[dot]ca) 
  • Call: 866-590-8822 ext 53777
  • Text: 519-953-5680

You will be asked for your OAP Client Reference Number when you register for this program. Contact abs [at] tvcc.on.ca (abs[at]tvcc[dot]on[dot]ca)  for information about registering with the OAP.

What to Expect

If you register for Entry to School using TVCC’s online Intake and Referral form, we will call you back to speak with you to determine if it is the right fit for your child and family. 

For More Information

Questions? Email us at abs [at] tvcc.on.ca (subject: Questions%20about%20Entry%20To%20School) (abs[at]tvcc[dot]on[dot]ca) 

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