Disability is experienced by many people and children in our community. Whilst the nature of a child’s disability can be different, the barriers, disadvantage and potential discrimination that they experience can be similar. Inclusive early childhood and child care services not only identify these barriers but work actively to overcome them and to advocate for children against exclusionary practices.

Inclusion is more than enrolling children with a disability into your service and encouraging participation. It is about critically reflecting on policies, practices and programs and making changes to ensure that all children can participate meaningfully without restrictions, pity or limitations of any kind. In this model, all children are viewed as being capable and as contributors to the service environment.
 
When educators build respectful and trusting relationships with children, helping them to recognise each other’s strengths, they learn to understand diversity of ability in new ways. Inclusion for children with disabilities is beneficial for all children.
 

If you would like to access support from your local Inclusion Agency Hub to assist your service to enhance inclusive practice please contact us.

Resources

Working  together agreement
The Working Together Agreement promotes a coordinated approach to early childhood inclusion for children with disability and/or developmental delay. When families, early childhood intervention (ECI) practitioners, early childhood education and care (ECEC) educators work together; this supports the human rights, best interests of and outcomes for all children participating in ECEC settings

Visual Supports
A poster that provides educators with an overview of the types of visual supports that can be used and tips for using them.

Scripted Stories
An overview of the value of using scripted stories. Scripted stories can be a positive tool to support children to develop social skills including the language skills and strategies for interacting with their peers.
 
Early childhood Australia and Early Childhood Intervention Australia –
Position Statement on the Inclusion of Children with Disability in ECEC

The position statement that aims to create a vision of high quality inclusive practices in early childhood education and care.

Using Visuals to support children’s learning (DVD order form)
This short DVD shows different ways that visuals can be used every day with all children. Great resource to show at team meetings.

Embedding recommendations from therapists in everyday practice
A template to support educators to identify opportunities in the daily programme to develop the specific skills that therapists or professionals have recommended for individual children.

Working with therapists and other early intervention professionals in ECEC – guide for directors
This resource is for directors and managers to encourage reflection on current practices and guide them in setting up collaborative partnerships with EI professionals.

Working with therapists and other early intervention professionals in ECEC – guide for educators
This resource is for educators to encourage reflection on current practices and guide them in working in partnership with EI professionals.

KU Guiding Children’s behaviour
Information, planning tools and assessment tools to support educators to promote positive relationships and respond positively to challenging behaviours.

Understanding Children’s Behaviour
An article that provides some summary information about things for educators to consider when trying to understand and respond to behaviours.

Enrolling Children with Additional Needs
This resource will support directors and educators in early childhood services to engage in effective enrolment processes for new children and families.

The dance of partnership – Why do my feet hurt?
A parent’s reflections on her journey with her son who has developmental disabilities, and the professionals that enter their lives. As early childhood education and care professionals, how can we dance with parents more effectively? What is a ‘partnership’ and how can we develop collaborative partnerships with families?

In the meantime resources to support the inclusion of children with disability are available from the Inclusion Matters App for Apple or Android Devcies.