Inclusiveness in ELCC setting can make the dream of many children with disabilities come true, it can become a place where they feel accepted and welcomed by their peers, thus surrounds oneself with supportive friends, allowing them to live a “regular” and healthy lives. Many issues arise in the field of ELCC, such as the women’s right issue to access a regulated child care, but most importantly is the issue of inclusion for children with disabilities in a regulated child care setting. The issue first and foremost revolves around children’s right issues, as in some countries, especially the undeveloped and the developing countries, fewer opportunities are given to children with disabilities to start and leave school before completing their primary education. This in turn can affect almost all aspects of their social lives. According to the World Report on Disability. For children with disabilities that live in rural or poverty areas, they are often confronted with alienation and discriminations, usually from society and families. Some disabled children can’t fully enjoy the experiences and relationship that a normal child felt during the child care program, since some child care or school may chose to refuse to enroll them or communities choose to shun them or even families at certain occurrence may consider the child to be a burden or shame to the family. In the currently school system, there are not enough qualified teacher with special need education and there are lack of qualified staff in the child welfare to fully support the development of children with disability. Overall as a result, some children in institutional care can develop learning and social impairments.
Inclusion plays a critical part as an indicator of high quality early childhood care and education, as practicing inclusiveness in a child care setting is a goodwill idea that can shift people attitude towards diversity, thus form a foundation for a supportive and non-discriminatory society. Inclusiveness is a process of addressing, acknowledging and responding to diversity of needs, thus promoting an increasing participation for disabled children in learning, community and society, hoping to reduce and eliminate the idea of exclusion both within and from education systems. Inclusive classroom and child care settings can positively contribute to the learning and development of all children; including children with special needs, thus everyone have equal opportunities to gain physical access to all materials and participation in all activities. By practicing inclusion in the classroom, every child has the same opportunities to make new friends, builds connections and practice social skills, and play with peers without feeling excluded. From a women’s rights perspective, all mothers should have the opportunities to access inclusive regulated child care, based on their rights of equal opportunity. For parents of disabled children, access to regulated child care can be stressful and difficult as providers are not required to accept children with special needs. This in turn can put families at even greater risk, as family members need to take additional times and effort to care for their disabled child, while ensuring they have the financial capability to support the family. As articulated by Mayer
The teacher’s attitude and perspective towards students can have a major impact on the success of the students, especially for those with special needs. Educators in the inclusive classroom setting have the opportunities to enhance their skills and vision by communicating and meeting the needs of all children in the classroom, thus truly understand and appreciate the differences. Social development of children can be enhanced through the intentional planning and thoughts of educators, including things like activities and plays. For instance, for children with special needs in the language developments, educators can insist upon exploration activities, problem solving and level of play awareness, providing children with the opportunities to enhance their language and social developmental skills. In addition, parent’s participation in the activities can also be critical and effective, as they understand their child’s needs, while assisting and supporting their child’s learning process. Educators can make parent’s involvement possible by recognizing the important role parent’s play in the child’s creative play and early literacy skills.
Inclusive child care can benefit both the child with special needs and other children in the child care setting. Vygotsky once proposed the concept of zone of proximal development, which is a period of learning for a child whom is not yet ready to develop on his or her own, but is capable of learning and develop new skills with the help and assistance from a more knowledgeable person. . Through the process of helping other students implanting activities, along with observing more knowledgeable peers’ way of conducting certain tasks, children with special needs can indirectly benefit from this process and participate in interpersonal involvements. Through interacting and playing with one another, they can learn from each other, while practicing social skills in a real world context. In an inclusive classroom setting, everyone is treated with respect and kindness, and is invited to participate as much as they desire. Not only so, teachers and educators also have the opportunities to help shape children’s behavior and attitude towards one another, including children with disabilities. Everyone can benefits when caregivers and educators establish a supportive, respective and positive environment.
How do government systems influence this issue?
There has been a distinctly declared agreement in which all children should have the right to education regardless of their gender, disability, nationality, race, etc.
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In order to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to fully participate in education, community and care centers, the government has implemented numerous laws, policies and regulations, all in hope to protect the rights and best interest of every child. For example, the government of Alberta passed the Child Care Licensing and Regulation Act. The act states that Through this act, one can assure that the minimal standard of rights and equality is met throughout all early learning childcare programs.