Inclusion is about diversity. Diversity recognises that people have different ways of thinking, knowing and living; different cultural backgrounds, family structures, religions and abilities. Each child and family is unique and each bring with them their own values, beliefs and perceptions when they enrol in an ECEC service. This can influence their understanding of the early program and expectations of educators.

Educators support diversity through building relationships with each child and family, and actively growing their understanding about what is important to them, and what their expectations are in regards to their child’s learning and experiences in the ECEC setting.

Learning about and respecting different child rearing practices is key to building genuine relationships. As outlined in Quality Area 6 of the Early Years Learning Framework, these relationships are fundamental to achieving quality outcomes for children and require active communication, consultation and collaboration.

Through the development of a Strategic Inclusion Plan, ECEC services can be supported by an Inclusion Professional to identify some of the issues which present challenges, and to develop strategies to address these. This may include reflecting on your service philosophy and policies, identifying resources and services in the local community, and other specific supports for Educators.

Supporting the Inclusion of children with a disability

Children with a disability sometimes face barriers to being fully included in ECEC services. Inclusive services not only identify these barriers but work actively to overcome them and to advocate for children against exclusionary practices.

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Supporting the Inclusion of children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

The Indigenous Cultural Hub provides a range of resources to support educators and assist ECEC services in offering culturally inclusive environments, programs and practices.

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Supporting the Inclusion of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

“Educators who are culturally competent respect multiple cultural ways of knowing, seeing and living, celebrate the benefits of diversity and have an ability to understand and honour differences” (Early years Learning Framework, p.16).

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