What are the Caregiver-Mediated Early Years (CMEY) programs offered by the OAP?

What the Ontario Autism Program Offers

The Ontario Autism Program (OAP) Offers 5 types of needs based services and supports to families.

  • Foundational Family Services
  • Caregiver-Mediated Early Years Programs (CMEY)
  • Entry to School Program
  • Core Clinical Services
  • Urgent Response Services

What are the Caregiver-Mediated Early Years (CMEY) programs?

CMEY programs support families with young children ages 12 months to 48 months (4 years). Those programs are caregiver coaching programs. To access one of the CMEY programs, families must have their child’s OAP number. To register your child with the OAP, visit Access OAP.

There are six different types of CMEY programs.

  • Early social interaction/social communication emotional regulation and transactional supports (ESI/SCERTS) (12-36 months)
    This is our QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® program. Click here for more details. 
  • Joint attention, symbolic play, engagement and regulation (JASPER) (12-48 months)
  • Pivotal response treatment (PRT) (12-48 months)
  • PLAY project (12-48 months)
  • Project ImPACT (12-48 months)
  • Social ABCs (12-42 months)

The Caregiver-mediated Early Years programs are free of charge and vary in length from one to six months per program.  

Each program has its own age and eligibility criteria. 

The Caregiver-Mediated Early Years programs are offered through private providers that are situated across the province. Each regional area (central, east, north, Toronto and west) offers all 6 CMEY programs. 


Our QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® program was created under the ESI/SCERTS programs. The ESI/SCERTS rely on you (the caregiver) to receive coaching and be supported to develop your child’s social communication skills within everyday activities and social activities, such as:

  • games (peek-a-boo, hide and seek)
  • meals and snacks (setting the table, clean up)
  • caregiving activities (bathing, diaper changes, hand washing)
  • play with toys (blocks, puzzles, play dough, pretend play)
  • family chores (picking up, getting the mail)
  • books (shapes, colours, numbers)
  • transitions from one activity to another

The coach will guide and support you throughout the program, helping you engage your child by following your child’s focus of interest and by keeping activities predictable. This is highly motivating for children, and it will help you improve your child’s communication, social skills, play skills, self-help, and motor skills.

ESI/SCERTS is based on evidence as well as the principles of child development and applied behaviour analysis (ABA).

Our ESI/SCERTS QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® program?

Through our funded ESI/SCERTS QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® program, parents and caregivers learn therapeutic strategies and specific techniques from professionals based on their child’s individual needs. The programs aim to build parents’ and caregivers’ capacity to support their child’s skill development in:

  • social interaction skills
  • play skills
  • communication skills
  • emotional development
  • adaptive development and self-help skills

The ESI/SCERTS QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® Program is activity-based and developmentally appropriate.

Our program is specifically offered to children between the ages of 12 to 36 months.

Learn more about our QuickStart™ Autism Navigator® Program