Inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services enable all children; children with a disability, from Cultural and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds, from refugee and humanitarian background and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to access and participate successfully in children's services. The sense of belonging maximises learning opportunities, particularly learning English as a second language.
The provision of inclusive education and care is an indicator of quality. Universal ECEC programs that serve all children provide a stronger foundation for developmental outcomes. For an ECEC service, the knowledge from working with children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or Cultural and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds or refugee and humanitarian backgrounds or children with a disability has been found to benefit all children in education and care environments and result in higher quality.
Inclusion in early years and childcare is as much concerned with the participation of practitioners as with the involvement of children and young people. Participation implies playing, learning, and working in collaboration with others. It involves making choices about, and having a say in, what we do. More deeply, it is about being recognised, accepted and valued for ourselves. Developing inclusion involves reducing all forms of exclusion.1
Inclusion in education and care sector involves:
1&2 2006 CSIE. Booth, T, Ainscow, M and Kingston, D (2006) Index for Inclusion: developing play, learning and participation in early years and childcare.