Early childhood educators now have access to new tools that will better assist them to work with children with disability.
The Federal Government recently teamed with the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) alongside disability and early childhood education and care sectors to develop two packages aimed at helping employers better understand their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992).
Together they will also help ensure that staff know about making reasonable adjustments, so children with disability are included in early childhood education and care.
In announcing the news, the Minister for Early Childhood Education and Youth, Dr Anne Aly and Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth said the new packages build on resources released last year. They focus on helping people with a disability access education on the same basis as their peers.
Early development equals future success
Dr Aly said access to quality early childhood education and care is critical to supporting children’s development and future successes, particularly for children with disability.
“Participating in early education on the same basis as their peers helps children with disability to thrive not only in their early years but throughout life.
“These resources will help early childhood educators and service managers understand their obligations, ensuring the delivery of inclusive early learning.”
Minister Rishworth agrees.
“Our aim is to create a more inclusive Australia for all and these resources will assist in that goal. We are also ensuring children with disability are a focus in our Early Years Strategy.
“We want to remove any barriers that children with disability and their families face in accessing early learning and ensure children with disability can be supported through their learning journey.”
Both sets of documents were developed in response to recommendations from the 2020 Review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005.
The news follows the announcement that the government has committed an additional $21.2 million to the Inclusion Support Program, helping children with additional needs access and participate in quality early childhood education and care.
The Inclusion Support Program has grown by 58 per cent over the last four years, with more than 17,600 children supported by the program in 2021-22.
A review of the Inclusion Support Program has been commissioned to ensure it’s working for users of the service and is expected to be provided to the government over the coming months.