The Importance Of Inclusive Environments In ChildcareMarch 24, 2022
In a room where there are 20 children or more, it’s imperative that all children feel equal to the child next to them. Inclusive environments in childcare centres are crucial so children feel safe, secure and happy when they’re at childcare. Here’s what you need to know about inclusion.
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What is inclusion?
Early childhood education is welcoming for children of all backgrounds, and an inclusive classroom means that children living with developmental delays, or disabilities, can share the same space as other children. Learning together and using the same resources to achieve goals. Inclusion in a childcare setting means centre operators and teachers are supportive and provide the necessary academic, social, emotional and communicative support to all children.
Many childcare centres provide programs that take this into account, following recommendations that are set within the Education and Care Services National Regulations. These include:
- Standard 3.2 The environment is inclusive, promotes competence, independent exploration and learning through play.
- Standard 6.2 Families are supported in their parenting role and their values and beliefs about child rearing are respected.
Why is inclusion important?
Inclusion ensures all children have access to high-quality early childhood education and care. It is also about discovering new ways to teach so that all students are fully engaged in the classroom. When children are included, they:
- Can learn better
- Are supported to contribute to daily activities
- Make their own choices
- Receive curriculum to suit their needs
- Create relationships with peers and other children
- Can participate in a range of extracurricular activities
- Feel safe and validated
Benefits Of Inclusive Education In Childcare
Inclusion has significant advantages for all children, not just for those that have special needs (and their families). By encouraging all children to become involved in the activities that are set at the centre, no matter what their abilities are (or aren’t), it shows children that everyone is unique. Every child has their own personality, their own talents, and their own way of learning. Inclusion shows all children that they are not alone. It helps children to form friendships that could last well beyond early childhood education and promotes a positive self-image so that children can thrive.
By allowing all children to be part of a community, it helps them to develop a sense of belonging so they are better prepared to face any challenges they might face in the greater community. It also fosters a culture of respect, and inclusion at a childcare centre can even have a positive effect on the families of all children attending – encouraging them to be more accepting of other people’s differences.
By choosing a centre that values inclusion, you’re giving children a chance to learn and grow as they should be – together, and with the right support backing them. If you want to find out about your chosen centre’s inclusion policies or beliefs, get in touch with the centre to discuss. Whether you’re attending childcare in Lara, or elsewhere in Australia, your centre should be always available to discuss your concerns.