(To watch the video with sign language interpretation, click here.)
To support children with special needs, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has planned to boost the On-site Pre-school Rehabilitation Services.
Presenting her Policy Address today, Mrs Lam suggested increasing the number of service places by 1,000 each year over the next three school years, bringing the total number of 10,000 to better support children with special needs and give parents greater assurance.
Her goal is to attain the zero-waiting time target that she pledged in her first Policy Address.
Additionally, a 20-month pilot scheme to benefit kindergartens and kindergarten/child care centres will be implemented next year to ensure early intervention services will be offered to children with signs of special needs, she added.
The Government will also strengthen the After School Care Programme with new measures that include fee-waiving places and additional subsidies for children with special education needs.
Mrs Lam proposed to regularise from the next school year the $2,500 one-off grant for secondary day school, primary school and kindergarten students. The grant will benefit about 900,000 students.
She also suggested to raise the Working Family Allowance payment rates to help support lower income families, while the Child Allowance will also be increased 40%.
To provide more interesting play areas for children, Mrs Lam planned to modify more than 170 public play spaces managed by the Leisure & Cultural Services Department over the next five years.