Inclusion within the context of Early Childhood Education and Care services (ECEC) recognises the right of  
  every child to participate meaningfully in all aspects of community life. Active and meaningful participation
  is not the same as just enrolling in or attending an ECEC service. Inclusion happens when children are viewed 
  as capable and valued contributors as opposed to having deficits that need to be fixed. Inclusion is about  
  human diversity,  where each child is viewed as being unique. True inclusive practice values diversity as a
  resource that informs all policy and practice.

  Inclusion is everybody’s responsibility, though sometimes our fears, lack of confidence, attitudes and beliefs
  can be the most significant barriers to achieving this. Good reflective practice, educator commitment and
  teamwork are the starting points for successful inclusion.

Inclusion means that:

  • Every child has the right to participate in high quality early childhood education
  • All children are viewed as being capable learners and contributors in ECEC services
  • The strengths and interests of each child are acknowledged
  • Inclusion is not about ’fixing’ the child or improving their skills so that they fit into the ECEC environment, it is about changing what we do as educators so that all children can participate
  • The focus is on the whole environment and not just an individual child. Diversity is acknowledged, respected and viewed as a resource for learning, growth and change
  • All educators are responsible for identifying inclusion barriers and learning about ways to overcome them
  • Educators build partnerships with families, other professionals and the wider community

Inclusion happens when educators:

  • Are supported in their practice by strong leadership
  • Work together as a team to think about how inclusive their practices are
  • Work collaboratively with families and support them to understand inclusion and how children learn in social settings
  • Support children to communicate with, and learn from each other
  • Value and view all children as capable and competent
  • Recognise that every child is different, and plan programs to support this
  • Build relationships with all children and families
  • Support children to make choices about their play and learning
  • Encourage children to develop confidence and be independent

About the Inclusion Support Program

Supporting educators in ECEC sevices to build their capactity and capability to include children with additional needs
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Resources to Support Inclusion

A range of resources are available to support services to provide inclusive environments and programmes for all children.
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Professional Learning

Professional learning builds educators confidence, skills and knowledge around inclusion. Professional learning opportunities support educators on their inclusion journey.
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