As educators your role is to create an environment where all children feel welcome and secure. Facilitating trusting  
    relationships encourages children to express their thoughts and feelings in an empowered way. Listening to children and
    hearing what ‘belonging’ means to them, helps us to develop a curriculum that is responsive to individual needs and
    nurtures a sense of belonging.

    As part of the NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency Children’s Voices project, we asked children four questions relating to the
    concept of ‘belonging’.

  

Here are some examples of children’s responses about what belonging means to them:  


How do you know when you feel welcome?

 Rory, 7 years: “When they let me in.”
Monique, 4 years: “I know because it’s somewhere I like to be.”

What does it feel like when you are new?

 Eleanor, 3 years: “I cried when I was new. I don’t cry now. My friends are here to play with me.”
James, 5 years: “I feel little.”

How do you think you can help people who are new?

 Sophie, 3 years: “Play with them.”
Adelaide, 5 years: “Talk to them.”

What do you think people should do to help new people feel welcome?

Ellie, 4 years: “Cushions.”
Layla, 9 years: “Talk to them, include them in your games and make them happy.”
 
For educators:
  •  How might the children’s responses influence your planning and practice?

You can read more about children’s voices in Children’s Voices; A Reflective Resource for Educators and contact your Inclusion Professional to talk about how this relates to inclusive practice at your service.