The Young Learners Program (YLP) assists children 3-6 years of age in St. Cloud and the surrounding area who meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis, and are eligible for Special Education services. Appropriate referrals to the YLP should include a history of significant social, emotional or behavioral concerns that adversly impacts the child's ability to function at home, school or within the community. Referrals to the YLP can be made by the child’s School District, parent, medical provider and community-based mental health providers. The placement must also be supported by the child’s home school district.
Children can have an existing mental health diagnosis, but it is not required. A formal Diagnostic Assessment (DA) will be completed by YLP Clinical staff to determine the child’s need for programming and services*. (*A diagnosis of a mental health disorder does not guarantee the child’s placement in day treatment programming.) The determination of “need” is based on medical necessity and the child’s abilities. Family participation is also required.
Children in the YLP must be eligible for Special Education services. Children referred for day treatment programming will have typically qualified for special educational services under the categories of Emotional Behavioral Disorder (EBD) or Developmental Delay (DD), though other disability categories are also considered. If the child is not receiving special education services, a formal referral for a special education evaluation must be made before a child would be considered for programming.
The YLP is an insurance-based mental health program. Therefore, this placement must also be supported by the child's insurance provider. A majority of insurance plans recognize and pay for these services if indicated as a need by medical necessity.
Family involvement is required as part of the Young Learners Program (YLP). Parents and staff develop goals together with the focus on skills and strategies to improve the child’s functioning and daily interactions at home, school and in the community.
Weekly family skills and/or therapy will be provided. The YLP provides family therapy or skills training and development related to the child's Diagnostic Assessment and Individual Treatment Plan (ITP). In addition, the YLP focuses on developing supportive relationships with identified caregivers. Due to the developmental level of the child, most family-based services are provided in the child’s home, which is their natural environment. Depending on the child and family’s needs, location of the family, and insurance coverage, some sessions may be held on site at the YLP or another agreed upon location.
The family may be asked to transport their child on “clinical only” days (mental health programming without educational services), if transportation is not provided by their home school district. The family may also be asked to provide transportation to and from individual skills/or therapy sessions.
The family is required to participate in ongoing mental health reviews as part of the child’s day treatment programming. An Intake Meeting will be held before the child starts programming, at which time the ITP will be reviewed. An Initial Assessment meeting is held approximately 30 days from the child's start date, and Quarterly Review meetings will occur every 90 days for the duration of the child's placement.
The Young Learners Program (YLP) is an insurance-based mental health program for children ages 3-6 years. A majority of medical insurance plans recognize and pay for these services if indicated as a "need" by medical necessity.
A Diagnostic Assessment (DA) is required to determine the appropriateness of programming, as well as the child’s abilities and needs. The assessment will be completed by YLP Clinical Staff and will be billed to the child’s insurance or another identified funding source with written consent. (Please note, completion of the DA does not guarantee placement.)
When a child is identified as demonstrating "need" for day treatment programming, the referring school district and county (if applicable) will develop a Service Agreement with the Young Learners Program. A typical YLP placement is one year, though the actual placement length depends on the child's needs and attendance, family participation, and insurance authorization.
The Young Learners Program (YLP) operates year 'round. Services are open to children and families throughout Central Minnesota. The YLP typically follows the St. Cloud School District calendar with extended programming provided in the summer. The YLP program day consist of 3 hours of mental health services and 2 hours of special education services daily. There will be additional “clinical only” days in the summer, and occasionally during the regular school calendar year, at which time mental health services are provided without educational programming.
At the YLP, Special Education staff implement the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), providing classroom learning opportunities which are designed to meet the individual learning needs of each child. The program also offers various educational and therapeutic activities
and utilizes Mental Health Professionals and Practitioners to provide clinical services
as indicated by the child's mental health needs and Individual Treatment Plan (ITP).
In addition to 3 hours of group mental health services (combination of group therapy and skills), a variety of other services are offered. These services include: weekly family therapy and/or family skills training and development, weekly individual therapy, and school-based individual skills training and development. Additional individual skills training can also be provided by YLP staff to assist with emotional and behavioral regulation, as well as positive social behaviors, while at home and daycare. All services provided are based on the child's demonstrated need, parent approval and insurance authorization.
Large motor activities are also offered in the program's outdoor play area, indoor gymnasium, and indoor motor/sensory area.
With written consent, YLP staff also collaborate with other service providers working with the child and family- providing monthly behavior updates, phone updates and consultation, as well as invitations to attend mental health reviews.
The Young Learners Program (YLP) operates year 'round in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Program days follow the ISD #742 school calendar with extended summer programming and additional clinical days scheduled throughout the year.
District 742 educational staff are responsible to manage the child’s special education programming, including their Individualized Education Plan (IEP), Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP), and other special education related services and programming (ie. Developmental Adaptive Physical Education, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech/Language Therapy).
Young Learners Program (YLP) activities include:
Individual and group therapy/skills
Play-based treatment modalities
Structured social activities
Lunch and socialization skills
Science activities- weighing, measuring, planets, etc.
Music activities- songs and use of instruments
Literacy activities- story time, alphabet, writing
Math activities- numbers, counting, addition, etc.
Physical activities- indoor motor/sensory area, outdoor play area and indoor gymnasium
Regulation skills and activities
Developmentally appropriate daily living skills, including health and hygiene curriculum
Fine motor activities