The Role of Inclusive Practices in Childcare (with Examples)

inclusive practices

If you’ve spent enough time perusing online parenting forums, then you will have come across the notion of inclusive practices in childcare.

Inclusive practices in childcare are more than a buzzword, it’s a commitment to removing barriers and promoting a learning environment that facilitates the best outcome for all young learners.

Understanding the role of inclusive practices, the benefits offered for children, families, and educators, as well as practical examples of what inclusive practices look like is an important step towards supporting the goals of inclusive practices for both educators and parents.

What exactly are inclusive practices?

Inclusive practices are intended to break down the rigid framework that has traditionally directed the way that education is delivered to early learners.

A renewed focus in the way that curriculum is delivered to all students – including those with disabilities – is an essential part in fostering equal opportunities in learning. Additionally, inclusive practices ensures that children living in complex or vulnerable circumstances, as well as children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds do not fall behind in developing essential early learning skills.

Inclusive practices may include:

  • A versatile and flexible approach to learning
  • A welcoming and safe environment
  • Foster a sense of belonging within the classroom
  • A consistent approach to learning practices
  • Encourage participation & boosting student motivation
  • An increased focus on accessibility for students of all backgrounds
  • A focus on collaborative learning environments
  • A nuanced approach to learning for students at different levels
  • Equality and inclusive learning environments

The role of inclusive practices in supporting early development

Inclusive practices in early learning ensure that, irrespective of their background, children are provided with a holistic learning environment that promotes cognitive, social, and emotional development.

examples of inclusive practices

Inclusive learning environments incorporate many of the traditional elements of the education system, however, with a greater emphasis on collaboration, communication, inclusivity, and providing a lifelong framework for learning and personal development.

Benefits of inclusive practices for children

When it comes to the benefits of early learning practices, it’s important to look at things from the perspective of both students and educators. For children, some of the most important benefits of inclusive learning environments, include:

  • Equal opportunities irrespective of background
  • A collaborative learning process that emphasises fun
  • Increased opportunity for children who learn in different ways
  • Cognitive recognition of preferred learning behaviours that set the framework for lifelong learning
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Increased self-awareness around learning practices
  • Learn and practise foundational social and emotional skills
  • Early exposure to collaborative and team working environments

Benefits of inclusive practices for families

  • Enhanced social and community links
  • Children develop empathy for fellow students and educators
  • Tailored learning solutions enhance self-esteem
  • Access to resources and learning materials
  • Improved advocacy for children from diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Improved advocacy and awareness around mental and physical disabilities

Benefits of inclusive practices for educators

  • A more flexible framework to deliver education
  • Open dialogue with students and parents around sensitive topics
  • Greater autonomy to tailor learning towards students
  • Enhanced ownership over the teaching process
  • Greater flexibility to provide personalised solutions
supporting early development

What does it look like? (examples)

Collaborative learning

Collaborative learning is when students are given a task and allowed to discuss and find solutions to said task together. An example of collaborative learning is allocating activities in smaller groups. This creates collaboration between the students but also ensures each child’s questions and ideas will be heard and not lost in the crowd.

Positive reinforcement

The use of positive reinforcement is prioritised when implementing inclusive practices. If a child is having behavioural issues, the best way to turn those issues around is to instead acknowledge and positively reinforce the good behaviours. Physical cues such as smiling, audible approval and appointed independence, getting to choose the next task for the day, are all examples of positive reinforcement.

Cultural education

Cultural education is the practice of ensuring students of different cultural and religious backgrounds, aren’t discriminated against and that their unique perspective of the world is exposed to their peers. One way of using cultural education as an inclusive practice at a childcare level, is through the practice of choosing books and visual entertainment that explore varying cultures and experiences, to eliminate potential bias or prejudice.

Education & inclusion for disabled

Education and inclusion for the disabled is vital in childcare and everywhere else, for that matter. Adapting learning, social, and physical activities to accommodate someone with a disability is an essential way to improve their access to the world. An example of this in a childcare environment would be if you’re planning a sports activity make sure you adapt it for a child who is in a wheelchair.

Adapting curriculum towards students

Traditional curriculum is designed with a clear set structure for learning. By adapting the curriculum to be taught to the students’ specific needs and abilities, it gives the children a better chance at comprehension. If the child was a kinaesthetic learner but only received instruction and information aurally, they would possibly struggle to understand the point. If the information was explained through an activity involving touch and handling, a kinaesthetic learner would likely grasp it far quicker, as it was tailored to the best way they learn.

Final thoughts

Inclusive practices in childcare are the most tailored and valuable way to progress your child’s learning. Acknowledging every individual is unique and that no set system is ideal to all, gives the freedom to educators to focus on the areas that will help fundamental development the most.

At Eikoh seminar, we understand the value of inclusive practices when it comes to your little one’s learning. We love to work with parents to ensure we understand your child’s unique needs, so they get the most out of their day.

Eikoh Seminar has fantastic childcare centres across Sydney’s lower north shore. Find the centre that’s the best fit for your family.