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Statement on the Inclusion of Children with Disablity

Statement on the Inclusion of Children with Disablity

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Published by Mark Christian
Statement on the Inclusion of Children with Disablity Early Childhood Intervention Australia, early childhood asutralia, children with disability, early childhood care, ecec
Statement on the Inclusion of Children with Disablity Early Childhood Intervention Australia, early childhood asutralia, children with disability, early childhood care, ecec

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Published by: Mark Christian on Feb 19, 2013
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10/15/2013

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Early Childhood Australiaand Early ChildhoodIntervention Australia
POSITION STATEMENT ON THE INCLUSIONOF CHILDREN WITH A DISABILITY INEARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE
 
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Early Childhood Australia and Early Childhood Intervention Australia – Position statement on the inclusion of children with a disability in early childhood education and care
Position on the inclusion of children with a disability in earlychildhood education and care
Our position is that children with a disability have thesame rights as all children and additional rights becauseof their disability. They share with all children the right tobe valued as individuals and as contributing membersof families, communities and society.Every child is entitled to access and participate in ECECprograms which recognise them as active agents in theirown lives and learning, respond to them as individuals,respect their families as partners and engage with theirdiverse backgrounds and cultures. This means that ECEC services and support professionalsmust be resourced and supported to the level requiredto fully include children with a disability and
 
to achievehigh quality outcomes for all children.
Rights of children
Our position is based on the rights of children witha disability, and these rights provide the foundationsfor inclusion.Children with a disability share universal rights withall people, and share the additional rights of allchildren as identi
ed in the
UN Convention on the rightsof the child 
(UNICEF, 1990). The speci
c rights of children with a disability areexpressed in the
UN Convention on the rights of personswith disabilities
(UN, 2006). Among other internationalstatements, the UNESCO
Salamanca statement 
 (UNESCO, 1994) on
inclusive education
recognises theimportance of inclusion of children with a disability inmainstream education.Australia has its own legislation, at both national and atstate and territory levels, which supports the inclusionof children with a disability (HREOC, 1986–2004).
Overview
 This joint position statement by Early Childhood Australia(ECA) and Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA)sets out our shared commitment to inclusion in earlychildhood education and care (ECEC).Its purpose is to create a vision for high quality inclusivepractices in early childhood education and care. It willassist everyone in ECEC services, as well as supportprofessionals, to fully include children with a disabilityand to achieve high quality outcomes for all children.It will also provide a framework for the developmentand implementation of policy and programs designedfor all young children. The inclusive practices promotedby the position statement are characterised by thestrong collaborative partnerships between children,families, early childhood educators and supportprofessionals that are widely recognised as a cornerstoneof high quality inclusive practice in ECEC programs. The position statement re
ects the broad evidencebase and the collective values and wisdom of ourorganisations on the inclusion of children with adisability, and was informed by input from consultationswith members of both organisations
1
.
It is part of broaderpolicy work by both organisations. For ECA this work willfocus on inclusion for all children in ECEC settings and forECIA the work will focus on the inclusion of children witha disability in all aspects of community life.
 
Early Childhood Australia and Early Childhood Intervention Australia – Position statement on the inclusion of children with a disability in early childhood education and care
 
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Principles
Our position is also based on principles that areparticularly relevant to the inclusion of young childrenwith a disability in ECEC. They provide a framework forassessing policies, services and actions.
Best interests of the child
In all actions concerning children, the rights and bestinterests of the child are paramount, and young children’shealthy development, learning and wellbeing must be apriority for Australian society.
Importance of families
Children’s growth and learning occurs mainly in thecontext of their primary relationships in their families;and partnerships between ECEC, support professionalsand families are essential.
Social inclusion
Every child has the capacity to make a unique contributionand to participate in a wide range of activities andcontexts as a full member of a family, communities andour society.
Diversity
Diversity and di
 
erence are valuable in their own right,as are the commonalities among people. Understandingthe practices, values, beliefs and cultures of families andacknowledging di
 
erence is fundamental.
Equity
Equity requires that each child receives the support andresources needed to participate, engage and succeed.
High expectations for every child
All children have the capacity to succeed, regardless of diverse circumstances and abilities. Children progresswell when they, their families, early childhood educatorsand support professionals have high expectations fortheir achievement in learning and development.
Evidence-based practice
Evidence-based practice in ECEC programs is informedby the knowledge and experience of educators andfamilies as well as
ndings from current research.
Ethics and inclusion
 The foundation of this position statement in children’srights and related principles strongly links the practiceof inclusion to ethical practice for everyone involvedin planning and delivering services and programs.Ethical practice is a responsibility of the individualprofessional which asks them to re
ect on the inevitablechallenges and dilemmas of their work as they respondto families, children, colleagues and communities. It callsfor consideration of the facts, values and assumptionsthat underpin our thinking and requires each person toask themselves the ethical question ‘what ought I to do?’(St James Ethics Centre). The
ECA Code of Ethics
(ECA, 2006)
 
and the
ECIA Codeof Ethics
 
(ECIA) provide a framework to supportpractitioners in beginning this process.

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