How to Make Your Childcare More Inclusive for Children of All Abilities

17th October 2017

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By Lucy Wyndham 

Nothing pulls at the heartstrings quite like a child crestfallen after being excluded. Yet, that is exactly what childcare facilities across the United Kingdom do when they fail to adapt their facilities for disabled individuals. Below, we will look at steps your organisation can take to include all youngsters.

Every Child Is Different

Each disability or delay will require unique modifications to the building. As a childcare provider, you should learn as much as you can about the disability and the child. Find out what modifications are usually made for the disability. Professionals who work with the young one and the child’s parents will be able to help with this. You should not be afraid to make recommendations or ask questions. Most of the changes you will make to your programme will be easy, and they may benefit other children as well.

General Ideas for Accommodating Children with Special Needs

While every child is unique, there are some accommodations that childcare centres commonly have to make. Here are a few:

  • Look for Both Needs and Strengths– Do not just focus on the disabilities of the child. Instead, you should approach each youngster as a whole. Think of activities that will support the strengths of children. Everyone needs to feel capable and successful.
  • Teach Playing Skills– For some children, simply learning to walk up to another child and asking to play is a big step. You can play a big role in helping children with special needs find playmates. Teach them the skills and words they need to be a good playmate.
  • Talk to Experts – Health care professionals, early childhood specialists, and parents can offer certain recommendations and info for working with a disabled child. Ask questions. Often times, parents may not realize that caregivers do not automatically know what to do.
  • Teach Other Children to Interact – The other children in your childcare programme are developing as well. They need guidance in how to play and talk with children with disabilities. For example, if a child is hearing impaired, show other children how to touch the child’s shoulder to get their attention.
  • Modify Equipment and Toys– You can alter regular toys to make them easier for impaired children to play with. For instance, you can remove every other ring to help a child who has trouble stacking rings.
  • Model appropriate behaviours – Differently abled children have trouble knowing how to play with others. By being a play partner yourself, you can show them. You can invite other kids to join as the child gets more comfortable.

Keeping these accommodations in mind can help to ensure that each special needs child feels included and comfortable.

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