What Does Inclusion Look Like?
Are you and your program ready?
Inclusive early childhood settings are built on a foundation of developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) and consider individualized approaches that benefit all children. Inclusion can look different in different settings but all inclusive settings have some core features. Here are some questions to consider when planning or reviewing your setting.
- Are administrative policies / procedures supportive of children with special needs?
- Is your physical environment, including your playground, accessible and does it support play for all children?
- Do you feel confident about working with children with differing abilities?
- How are play activities and materials individualized for all children?
- How do you help children form friendships?
- How are supportive relationships with families developed?
- How do you review your teaching practices on an ongoing basis to make sure they are developmentally appropriate and reflect children and family needs?
- How do you stay up to date with current research and practices that support all children?
Tools and Resources:
- Including Children with Special Needs – Are You and Your Program Ready? (PDF). NAEYC, Beyond The Journal, Young Children on the Web, March 2009.
- Child Care Aware – Choosing Quality Child Care for a Child with Special Needs (PDF). (2009). — NACCRRA.
- Assessment of Peer Relationships (PDF) (2003) – Guralnick , M. J., Child Development and Mental Retardation Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
- A Thinking Guide to Inclusive Child Care: For those who care about young children, with and without disabilities (PDF). (February, 2008). Developed by Disability Rights Wisconsin with support from The Ziemann Foundation, Inc..
- I don’t have an accessible playground or do I? (PDF) Tipsheet #23 – from CHILD CARE Plus+ project, Rural Institute on Disabilities, University of Montana.
- Supporting Children with Developmental Disabilities (PDF) – Developed by Kids Included Together with funding from the Special Hope Foundation.
- Connect: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge – Connect has developed web-based resources and modules on effective practices to build early childhood practitioners’ abilities to make evidence-based decisions. Seven modules have been developed: 1) Embedded Instruction; 2) Transition; 3) Communication and Collaboration; 4) Family-Professional Partnership; 5) Assistive Technology; 6) Dialogic Reading Practices and; 7) Tiered Instruction.
- Kids Included Together (KIT). (2010 – 2013). Inclusion Checklist for Programs (PDF). Washington, DC. This is a two page self-assessment tool to quickly and easily identify what is going well and what needs improvement. Available from the KIT website at http://www.kitonline.org/pdfs/TipSheets/Inclusion_Checklist_for_Programs.pdf
- Davis Goldman, B., & Buysse, V. (2005). Playmates & Friends: Questionnaire for Teachers, 3rd edition [PDF]. Chapel Hill, NC: FPG Child Development Institute. Retrieved from http://www.michigandec.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=StwDTuvEAzo%3d&tabid=967
Image Description: Children playing at a sand table.