Focus on Inclusion
The Focus on Inclusion program is designed to increase the inclusion capacity of Early Learning and Child Care staff and others who are working to support young children with additional needs and disabilities. These include professionals working in after school programs, and as aides/support workers. Contact the Early Learning Inclusion Facilitator in your region.
Information for Families
Inclusion in the early years, simply stated, is about educating and supporting individuals with and without disabilities together in the same early childhood/afterschool environment. In an early childhood/afterschool inclusive program, the strengths and challenges of all children are observed and documented. They are then used to develop goals and individual plans for children requiring more activities, or additional methods than the programming currently being offered. Inclusion can be thought of as the practice of fully enabling all children to participate actively and meaningfully in any environment. Inclusion means rights for all.
Your child has the right to access, fully participate in, and be supported in any and all early learning and childcare programs, regardless of ability or additional need.
Your child has the right to meaningfully participate in all program activities and to be accommodated for when attending field trips and any/all other opportunities provided to their peers.
Your child has the right to be fully supported while attending early learning. There should be positive collaboration with community partners, outside agencies, and other professionals to ensure a positive and inclusive learning experience for all. All children deserve not just a space, but a place where individual needs are met and they are welcomed and respected.
How do Early Learning Inclusion Facilitators Support My Child?
With your permission, Early Learning Inclusion Facilitators will occasionally visit your son or daughter’s centre, or after school program. The purpose of this visit is to observe your child when he or she is at play, during their daily routines and interacting with other staff and children. Through these observations, our Facilitators gain valuable information, allowing them to provide centre staff with effective tools, strategies, professional development and resources that will support your child to reach his or her full potential and enrich his or her experience.
Please note that your signed consent is required to conduct these observations. Early Learning Inclusion Facilitators have also signed a confidentiality form with the New Brunswick Association for Community Living. This form is legally binding, ensuring that no information from the observations shall be shared outside of the centre where your child is attending without expressed permission from you the parent or legal guardian.
Funding for the Focus on Inclusion Program is provided by The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. There is no additional cost to the early learning centre or to the family to enroll in this program.
Information for Professionals
Through onsite consultation, observation and reflective discussion, NBACL’s Early Learning Inclusion Facilitators work with staff in Early Learning Childcare environments and after school programs to enhance leadership, develop strategies and ideas in successful, inclusive practices, principals and philosophies for inclusion.
You can become involved in the Focus on Inclusion program in one of the following ways:
- Directly from the centre (director and/or educator) by contacting the Early Learning Inclusion Facilitator in your district or region. The Facilitator will then visit your site and together you will complete a request and profile form. An Early Learning Inclusion Facilitator may visit your centre even if a request has not been submitted to discuss with you the possibility of requesting on-site support.
- From families who have enrolled their child in an early childhood environment and is seeking more collaborative ideas, resources and planning for their child. The Early Learning Inclusion Facilitator will then call the early childhood site to set up a time to meet with the owner/operator/director and family to decide on a plan for support that meets everyone’s needs.
- From the Provincial Early Childhood Services Coordinators who realize that staff, families and children would benefit from inclusion support with their “prior to school environments” and after school programs.
- Through various community partners. These include, but are not limited to: Family and Early Childhood Education (formerly Early Intervention), Family Resource Centres, and/or the Enhanced Support Worker Funding Program.
The Focus on Inclusion Program, in partnership with the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development, periodically delivers inclusion training to childcare staff, community partners, and parents. These trainings equip early childcare staff with the tools and resources to support children with a disability and/or additional need in a childcare setting. All trainings are essential for providing a high quality, inclusive childcare environment for children, families, and staff. For more information, please see our Training Brochure.
- Engage, Reflect & Plan (8 Hours)
- Quality Inclusion Measurement Tool (12 Hours)
- Each Child Matters and Ideas, Tools & Strategies for Inclusion (26 Hours)
- Moving Inclusion Forward (14 hours)
Upon completion of all four training sessions, NBACL will provide participants with a 60 Hour Certificate of Inclusion for Early Years and After School Programs.