Additional Needs Policy (QA1)

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Woodlands - Additional Needs Policy 

‘Inclusion …in typical early childhood programs has value for all children. It has the potential for many positive outcomes, and doing it with thoughts and preparation will assist in ensuring its success’.

Choosing a service can be hard for every parent, but it can be even more overwhelming for parents who have a child with additional needs. If your child has additional needs, we will support your child's individual developmental and learning needs and fully support their engagement in the program.

 

Quality Area 1: Educational program and practice 

1.1.1

Approved learning framework 

Curriculum decision-making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicators.

 

Quality Area 3: Physical Environment  

3.1

Design 

The design of the facilities is appropriate for the operation of a service 

3.1.1

Fit for purpose 

Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures and fittings are suitable for their purpose, including supporting the access of every child.

3.2.1

Inclusive environment 

Outdoor and indoor spaces are organised and adapted to support every child's participation and to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments.

3.2.2

Resources support play-based learning

Resources, materials and equipment allow for multiple uses, are sufficient in number, and enable every child to engage in play-based learning.

 

Quality Area 5: Relationships with children   

5.1

Relationships between educators and children 

Respectful and equitable relationships are maintained with each child.

5.1.1

Positive educator to child interactions 

Responsive and meaningful interactions build trusting relationships which engage and support each child to feel secure, confident and included.

5.1.2

Dignity and rights of the child 

The dignity and rights of every child are maintained.

 

Quality Area 6: Collaborative partnerships with families and communities    

6.1

Supportive relationships with families 

Respectful relationships with families are developed and maintained and families are supported in their parenting role.

6.1.1

Engagement with the service 

Families are supported from enrolment to be involved in the service and contribute to service decisions.

6.1.2

Parent views are respected 

The expertise, culture, values and beliefs of families are respected and families share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.

6.2

Collaborative partnerships 

Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning and wellbeing.

6.2.2

Access and participation 

Effective partnerships support children's access, inclusion and participation in the program

 

 

Children (Education and Care Services) National Law NSW 

155

Interactions with children 

156

Relationships in groups 

157

Access for parents 

 

Related Policies      

 

Scope

This policy applies to children, families, staff, management and visitors of the Service.

 

Purpose

We aim to provide a supportive and inclusive environment that supports each child to fully participate in their education at the Service. Educators will ensure that all children are treated equally and fairly and are given the opportunity to grow and develop.

Children have additional needs for a variety of reasons, including:  

  • having a developmental delay and/or disability
  • living in complex or vulnerable circumstances
  • their cultural, linguistic or family background. 

The NQS Guide states that children ‘who require or will benefit from specific considerations or adaptations’, in addition to children who have a disability, include those who:

  • are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • are recent arrivals in Australia
  • have a culturally and linguistically diverse background
  • live in isolated geographic locations
  • are experiencing difficult family circumstances or stress
  • are at risk of abuse and neglect
  • have a medical or health condition
  • demonstrate challenging behaviours
  • are gifted or have special talents
  • have other extra support needs. 

Children in the above categories may have additional needs, but that does not imply neediness, weakness or deficit. In fact, some categories of additional needs, such as having a home language other than English, experiencing more than one cultural context, or being gifted, are in fact strengths. The final item on the list above is children who ‘have other extra support needs’. 

 These may arise from a wide range of circumstances, for example:

  • settling into a new service
  • moving to a new group within the service
  • having a new baby in the family
  • being the only child who is ‘different’ in some way—skin colour, gender or age
  • a parent’s temporary absence, be it planned or unexpected
  • a parent’s illness
  • family separation and divorce
  • a death in the family. 

 A very shy, insecure or very active child has additional needs also. A complete list of the origins of additional needs might lead to the conclusion that additional needs are essentially about each child’s uniqueness and the influence of the contexts of their lives on their wellbeing and learning.

 

Implementation

Management/Nominated Supervisor will ensure:

  • That the staff who work with your child are informed about the individual health needs of your child.
  • Undertake specific training that may be needed to help care for your child.
  • Develop clear procedures for supporting your child.  We will work collaboratively with you about your child’s specific needs including your child’s social, emotional and physical development and how these can be supported.

  • We use open communication to inform you about your child’s care and experiences at the service and seeking your advice about your child’s needs. Communication methods include daily conversations, checklists detailing the food your child has eaten or a daily diary to share information between yourself, your child care service and, if relevant, other professionals working with your child.

 

Educators will:

  • Work collaboratively with you about your child’s specific needs including your child’s social, emotional and physical development and how these can be supported.
  • Respect and accept your child.
  • Show that they see your child as a whole person, not only in terms of their needs.
  • Take the time to get to know your child, their strengths and interests, as well as their areas of need.
  • Use your child’s interests and strengths as a basis for planning activities.
  • Adapt planned activities and daily routines to support your child’s participation, where possible.
  • In a sensitive way, help other children and adults to understand your child’s needs and include your child in daily activities.
  • Acknowledge and uphold your family’s and children’s rights to confidentiality.
  • Provide you with regular information about your child’s progress and experiences, as well as any concerns or issues that arise.
  • Record daily information about your child e.g. details relating to toileting, eating habits, and their behaviour with other children etc.

 

How you can help us:

  • As part of the enrolment process, we encourage a face to face meeting with you and your child to understand your child’s main needs are and how these affect their daily lives and experiences.
  • Share their interests and the things that they do well.
  • Share the strategies you use to support your child at home and elsewhere e.g. ways to calm or distract your child when they are upset.
  • Explain the situations or routines that can cause physical or emotional challenges for your child.
  • Look for the signs to look out for to see if your child is distressed or is having difficulty coping.
  • Share details about the support or other therapies your child is receiving and encourage consent and contact with these services, to support inclusion, full participation and engagement in the program.  Additional funding and resources may also be available to support your child.

 

Additional Needs Procedure  

This successful inclusion of children with additional needs in children’s services is dependent on a number of factors. This includes educators:  

  • Believing in the underlying value of inclusion
  • Understanding their feelings about children with additional needs and inclusion  Planning for inclusion, carefully preparing themselves and the environment.
  • Providing support for the child as needed.
  • Assisting all children in the inclusion process.
  • Providing support to the child’s family and to the other families.
  • Closely collaborating with other agencies and professionals.

 

For the child with additional needs  

  • Encourage the child and family to visit the service for short periods prior to enrolling.
  • Use your enrolment and orientation procedures as an opportunity to find out all you need to know about the child, for example, their needs, interests, abilities, sense of humour, learning style, cultural background, communication preferences, likes and dislikes, etc.
  • Do an audit of your physical environment to ensure the child is able to access and participate fully in all aspects of the program.
  • Invest time getting to know the child and building a positive relationship with them – just as you do with all children.
    Don’t feel you have to do things differently just because a child has additional needs.
  • Recognise and build on the child’s strengths, abilities and interests, just as you would with other children.
  • Ensure children with additional needs have opportunities to see positive images of themselves in their environment, for example through photographs, posters and picture books and so on.
  • As educators, talk as a team about your individual and shared responsibilities in supporting this child and all other children  

 

For the Child’s family

  • Invest time in building a trusting relationship with the family so they feel accepted, respected and valued.
  • Treat the family as your prime consultants and acknowledge them as experts in their child.
  • Ask the family about their goals and expectations for their child, and talk with them about how you can work together to make them happen.
  • Ask the family how they would like to exchange two-way information in an ongoing capacity.
  • Some may prefer written communication such as email or communication books, while others may prefer oral communication such as meetings or phone contact.
  • Some families may prefer that there is one educator that they communicate with rather than talking to everyone in the team (for centre-based services)

 

For Educators

  • Discuss and explore attitudes and address any concerns or fears about particular children, including those with additional needs.
  • Talk to therapists involved (with family permission) about routines, special equipment, adaptations to the physical environment etc. that may be helpful for you to know.
  • Obtain detailed written information about the child and family’s needs, strengths and goals, emergency contacts, medical requirements and so on.
  • Share all relevant information with everyone who will be working with child.
  • Learn about the specific disability and the child’s particular requirements (positioning, toileting, sign language, etc.).
  • Access the range of resources and support required for the child before the child commences. Your plan of action developed with support from your Inclusion Support Facilitator will help with this process.
  • Talk about your shared responsibilities in working with this child and all other children at the service. This is particularly important where an additional worker has been employed.
  • Set aside adequate time for ongoing reflection, evaluation and planning.
  • Actively seek out relevant professional learning opportunities to provide you with new knowledge and skills.

 

Source

 

Review

Policy Reviewed 

Modifications

Next Review Date 

October 2017

New Service- new policy

April 2018

April 2018

Minor terminology and grammatical adjustments 

Included the list of related policies

April 2019

September 2019

Minor grammatical and formatting changes

Branding and formatting adjusted

Service specific information adjusted not affecting delivery of policy

April 2020

 

Quality Area 1 resource:

Program

 

Practice

 

Assessment and Planning









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