Blog / The significance of inclusive practices in early childhood

July 16 2021,

The significance of inclusive practices in early childhood

Here is a slightly more theoretical blog from Turtletot this month, however one that we are very passionate about. Inclusive practice aligns with both critical and post-structuralist early childhood theoretical perspectives. Educational services further recognise the value of inclusive practice as part of acknowledging and respecting diversity. Educators utilise inclusive practice to support children and their families by inviting them to participate and engage in their children’s learning. Through asking families reflective questions, educators strive to promote children’s individual development and interests as underpinned by the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF). The EYFL underscores the significance of promoting equity and diversity to reflect on both our own and others’ beliefs, ideas, and different practices and unconscious biases. Within early childhood education, the ability to recognise and accommodate various cultures and families from diverse backgrounds enables educators to support children in becoming sensitive to and aware of differences without judgment or bias - thus encouraging tolerance. Through collaborating with families, barriers that prevent children from being involved and included in making decisions are removed. In addition, families can provide essential feedback on the curriculum, learning environment, routines, policies, procedures, and assessment of the service. Bredekamp (2016) states that the continuity of being involved in jointly constructed projects and documentation results in social justice. This forms part of inclusive approaches that incorporate the four goals in inclusive policy: 1) Identity 2) Diversity 3) Justice and 4) Activism This should be practised in all areas of the early childhood service and in every classroom to support children’s responses to diversity, biases, and fear of differences. Outcomes are reflected through information gathered on children’s progress through careful observation and assessment of their learning. This may involve comments from other staff, parents, and family or community members, as well as documenting children’s learning through work samples, documentation, and critical reflection. Using the principles, practices and outcomes as outlined in the EYLF, checklists to make reference points are made visible, and ensure educators meet the learning and developmental needs of individual children. Educators further ensure that there is sufficient time to complete experiences; make necessary changes and engage all families in formal assessment and future planning for educational development. What an important and rewarding journey we are all on. Much love from the Team at Turtletot.

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