New Resource for boosting inclusion in early childhood services
New Resource for boosting inclusion in early childhood services
As an early childhood educator or provider, on top of all your other daily activities and responsibilities, it can be hard to ensure you're being inclusive to all children in your care. Luckily, a series of online videos has just been released to help educators gain more confidence in this area.
Produced by the Victorian Inclusion Agency, and led by the Community Child Care Association in partnership with Yooralla and KU Children's Services, there are nine videos in total, covering different topics with reflective questions at the end of each one. The aim is to help early childhood educators increase their knowledge of inclusion and provide them with tips on how to go about it in their service.
A simple and effective resource
Available online for free, here, and at only several minutes each, the videos are a convenient industry education tool. Suitable for all types of early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers, they can be viewed individually or within group staff meetings and are designed to help promote reflection and discussion.
With thousands of views since launching, the videos have even attracted attention from the wider community. SBS News recently referred to one of the videos, Meaningful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives, in an article they wrote about the need for more early childhood services to prioritise education around indigenous culture.
Educators held back by fear
As reported by SBS, according to Julie Price, Executive Director for the Community Child Care Association, it's fear that prevents ECEC educators from embracing and engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
"We hear lots of times that educators are concerned that they are going to do the wrong thing," said Ms Price. "They do not want to be tokenistic, and they do not want to offend anyone. So sometimes that completely stops services from doing anything."
It's not just our indigenous culture that this relates to either. Many early childhood educators are worried about how to approach other minority groups and include diversity as a daily practice in their service. It's this exact reason why the video series was created, to make it easier for educators to confidently ensure all children are learning in an inclusive environment.
An overview of the video series
You can view all the videos in the series here and below is a brief description of each video and what it actually entails:
- Responding to children's challenging behaviour
This video discusses the importance of discovering what's going on underneath with children who misbehave. It's almost always a result of external factors, such as issues at home, not being challenged, or a tension between educators which they feed off. Educators need to understand why the child is acting out and seek ways to help them avoid triggers and cope with their feelings. Putting a strategy in place for dealing with challenging behaviour is ideal, as well as taking the focus off the child and making it a community challenge.
- Meaningful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives
Here we learn about how appearing tokenistic is not to be feared and taking this approach can still be meaningful for children. Incorporating indigenous culture in small, subtle ways every day is a great approach. Being open-minded and giving it a go is a good place to start embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture into your centre and ensure children learn to understand and respect the traditional landowners.
- Disability in education and care: What every educator should know
It's important that children with disabilities learn and grow alongside their peers without a sense of being different. The key is for educators to be open to learning more about the disabilities of the children in their care and undertake professional training if required. This takes away the fear of the unknown and lets the focus become more on the strengths of those children and how they contribute to the group.
- What is inclusive education and care?
Every child is different with varied abilities, so celebrating diversity for both the children and educators is needed, by teaching love and acceptance of everyone. Being authentic is key, along with ensuring each child's individual requirements are considered and undertaken.
- What is the role of an additional educator?
Contrary to older schools of thought, an additional educator is not specifically hired to look after a child with special needs. They are extra support for existing educators to enhance the opportunity for proactive inclusion throughout the entire group, and allow educators to go further in learning and development.
- Cultural diversity: Examples to inspire early and middle childhood services
Australia consists of many cultures, so recognising, accepting and celebrating them with our children is important. Employing bilingual educators, working with parents of children with diverse cultural backgrounds, and incorporating aspects of different cultures into your service are necessary for children to feel safe, proud and special.
- AUSKey: Quick guide for education and care services
Important information on how to obtain an AUSKey, allowing access to the online inclusion support portal. This is an important tool for childcare organisations to develop their inclusion strategy, and apply for funding, if required.
- What is a Strategic Inclusion Plan?
Details around making inclusion part of your planning. A Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP) is a planning tool for services accessing the Inclusion Support Program. It documents goals and progress, and helps services ensure all children experience a sense of belonging.
- Inclusion support portal: tips and tricks
Handy hints and tips on getting started with the Inclusion Support Portal.
This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Monday, 30 December 2019
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