This toolkit was developed by the Maine’s Expanding Inclusive Opportunities (MEIO) Initiative. It represents a collaborative commitment by the MEIO cross-agency state leadership team; the Maine Department of Education – Child Development Services, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Child Care and Head Start and the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, to support early childhood programs in providing high quality inclusive settings for young children and their families.
These resources are useful for individuals thinking about starting a program as well as for staff currently working in early childhood settings. This tool kit is designed to help fuel your curiosity about every child and setting that can support all children, including any child with a special need. You can look at your program through the eyes of each child and decide if there are any changes you might want to consider.
More and more young children are participating in early childhood settings in their communities. A setting can be a family child care home, child care center, private or public preschool, Head Start or other type of care outside of the home, as well as care provided by other family members or neighbors.
We use the word inclusive to describe a setting in which any child can positively and fully participate, including children with special needs and disabilities. View the video, “Inclusion is Belonging,” created by Kids Included Together (KIT).
When we welcome young children with disabilities into a program we may question how to better understand each child’s unique style, needs and perspective. We might ask ourselves:
Follow the links listed in the right navigation panel to view the various resources contained in the toolkit. Some of the Toolkit resources require a PDF reader. Download Adobe Reader here.
Image Description: Boy hold blocks that spell learn.
A resource of the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies.