Ivana Fortino





As the lead Early Years superintendent of education I oversee all the programming for over 3,500 children and am a liaison for the childcare programs linked to the HWCDSB in Ontario, Canada. Close to 13% of the children in our department have been identified as being vulnerable learners. The emphasis on early diagnostics and intervention in this population is a recognized priority.

I have been an educator for close to 30 years and have spent the last eight years focused on the implementation of the Full Day Kindergarten Program for children 3.8-6 years old. This new initiative introduced by the Provincial Ministry of Education in Ontario, Canada has presented with many exciting and challenging experiences, with the vulnerabilities in these children emerging at this pre-school level.

School boards, childcare programs and the municipal childcare managers work collaboratively to promote a shared understanding of what children need and what can be done to facilitate appropriate therapeutic interventions. Provincially there is a shared vision in meeting the needs of the early learners.

As a Board we address the needs holistically and have more recently introduced a nation wide screening tool. This has resulted in an increased awareness of the neuro-diversity or children and a focus on ensuring programs are effectively meeting their needs. Recent research has identified a primary concern with impaired self-regulation in the population of children in their early years. Strategies and professional development and training are provided to staff, child care programs and families in order to address this particular vulnerability amongst others.


Conference Presentation

Supporting Educators in Working with Children with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)