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LCQ21: Pre-school rehabilitation services
     Following is a question by the Hon Ngan Man-yu and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, in the Legislative Council today (December 14):


     It is learnt that pre-school rehabilitation services are crucial to the long-term growth and development of children with special needs, as well as their future integration into mainstream education. The Government is catching up with the lag in respect of this category of services, and has set a target of zero waiting time for pre-school rehabilitation services. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) regarding the four types of pre-school rehabilitation services (i.e. (a) on-site pre-school rehabilitation services, (b) early education and training centres, (c) integrated programmes in kindergarten-cum-child care centres and (d) special child care centres), of a breakdown of the following information by district: (i) the latest numbers of service places, (ii) the latest numbers of persons waitlisted and (iii) the latest average waiting time (months) (set out such information according to the format of the following table);
District (i)/(ii)/(iii)
Pre-school rehabilitation services
(a) (b) (c) (d)
Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan
Kwai Chung        
Tsing Yi        
Tsuen Wan        
Subtotal/average waiting time:        
North District, Tai Po and Sha Tin
North District (Sheung Shui and Fanling)        
Sha Tin        
Tai Po        
Subtotal/average waiting time:        
Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai
Tin Shui Wai        
Tuen Mun        
Yuen Long        
Subtotal/average waiting time:        
Hong Kong and Islands
Central and Western District        
Eastern District        
Islands District        
Southern District        
Wan Chai        
Subtotal/average waiting time:        
East Kowloon
Kwun Tong        
Tseung Kwan O        
Wong Tai Sin        
Subtotal/average waiting time:        
West Kowloon
Kowloon City        
Mong Kok        
Sham Shui Po        
Yau Ma Tei        
Subtotal/average waiting time:        
Total/average waiting time of the aforesaid districts:        

(2) of the measures introduced in the past three years by the Government to shorten the waiting time in order to achieve the target of zero waiting time for pre-school rehabilitation services, and whether it has evaluated the effectiveness of such measures; and

(3) whether it has considered reviewing afresh the contents and positioning of the various aforesaid pre-school rehabilitation services, including their service features, demand and quality, with a view to providing appropriate services for children with special needs and their family members?



     My reply to the question raised by the Member is as follows:

(1) (i) Based on the 11 administrative districts of the Social Welfare Department (SWD), the numbers of service places of Early Education and Training Centre (EETC), Integrated Programme in Kindergarten-cum-Child Care Centre (IP) and Special Child Care Centre (SCCC) are set out in Table 1. The places of On-site Pre-school Rehabilitation Services (OPRS) are allocated on an agency basis and the SWD does not have readily available information on the geographical distribution of such places. In the 2022/23 academic year, there are 10 074 OPRS places in total.

Table 1
District Number of service places (as at March 31, 2022)
Central/Western/Southern and Islands 473 132 313
Eastern/Wan Chai 401 186 216
Kwun Tong 390 228 186
Wong Tai Sin/Sai Kung 604 240 425
Kowloon City/Yau Tsim Mong 231 210 30
Sham Shui Po 400 108 235
Sha Tin 381 168 138
Tai Po/North 487 168 299
Yuen Long 172 186 108
Tsuen Wan/Kwai Tsing 406 198 180
Tuen Mun 229 156 144
Total 4 174 1 980 2 274

     (ii) Based on the SWD's 11 administrative districts, the numbers of persons waitlisting for various pre-school rehabilitation services are set out in Table 2.

Table 2
District Number of waitlisted persons (as at March 31, 2022)
Central/Western/Southern and Islands 241 99 23 98
Eastern/Wan Chai 217 120 37 126
Kwun Tong 248 106 70 86
Wong Tai Sin/Sai Kung 267 133 69 98
Kowloon City/Yau Tsim Mong 205 138 56 99
Sham Shui Po 143 79 40 61
Sha Tin 242 84 37 92
Tai Po/North 224 122 46 94
Yuen Long 353 141 70 214
Tsuen Wan/Kwai Tsing 280 124 47 112
Tuen Mun 283 112 46 88
Total 2 703 (Note) 1 258 (Note) 541 (Note) 1 168 (Note)
Note: The figure does not include pre-school rehabilitation service users who are now receiving EETC or OPRS as transitional service, or users who are waiting for a change of service type/choice of centre.

     (iii) The average waiting time for various pre-school rehabilitation services in 2021-22 is set out in Table 3. The SWD does not have information on the waiting time by district.

Table 3
Average waiting time for 2021-22 (in months)
4.3 5.4 6.3 20.2

(2) With a view to achieving the objective of zero waiting time for OPRS, the Government regularised OPRS in 2018 and increased the number of service places from 3 000 in 2018 to over 10 000 in 2022/23 school year. The average waiting time for OPRS decreased from 4.8 months in 2019-20 to 4.3 months in 2021-22. The Government will keep in view the demand and supply of OPRS with a view to achieving zero waiting time for OPRS.

(3) Following the strategic recommendations of the Persons with Disabilities and Rehabilitation Programme Plan, the Government will, upon substantial shortening of the waiting time, reposition various pre-school rehabilitation services for further enhancing services, so as to achieve the target of early intervention.
Ends/Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Issued at HKT 11:07
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