At Smarty Pants, we actively promote
inclusive practice in order to best meet
the needs of the children, families
and staff of our center. All children are
welcome to attend Smarty Pants regardless
ability, need, background, culture,
religion, gender or economic circumstances.
Through inclusive practice, we aim to reflect our wider community and promote positive attitudes to both the similarities and differences in each other. In order to achieve this, we actively engage with children, parents and organizations as appropriate.
Children with disabilities learn along side peers without disabilities. We hold high expectations and intentionally promote participation in all learning and social activities. Learning is facilitated by individualized accommodations and use of evidence-based services and supports to foster cognitive, communication, physical, behavioral, and social-emotional development. This applies to all young children with disabilities, from those with the mildest disabilities, to those with the most significant disabilities.
It is our hope to also provide a culturally inclusive program, where students routinely learn from this diversity and learn to communicate and collaborate with others using intercultural and cross-class understandings. We encourage children to become global learners and problem solvers, by acquiring knowledge of the cultures, histories, geographies and languages of other countries.
Some examples of how we show that we welcome all abilities and cultures in our program are below:
Post visual daily schedules
Invite student’s culture into the classroom
Use materials related to student’s culture
Label classroom objects in English and other (student’s primary) languages
First/Then Picture Schedule
Picture Wall Schedule
Icon Wall Schedule
Similarities and differences are discussed and integrated through activities
Provide multi-cultural dolls and skin-colored paper and paint
Celebrating birthdays/holidays in traditional family ways
Images of children and their families as well as images of staff
Images that demonstrate the geographic diversity of family dwellings, neighborhoods, and communities such as urban, rural and suburban
Use of a graduated response system for identifying, assessing and responding to children's special educational needs
Providing a broad and balanced early learning environment for all children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
Provide differentiated activities to meet all individual needs and abilities
SMARTY PANTS PRESCHOOL
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS POLICY
We are committed to meeting the needs of all children, regardless of special health care needs or disabilities. All families are treated with dignity and with respect for their individual needs and/or differences.
Smarty Pants is responsible for ensuring that confidentiality about special needs is maintained for all families in the program.
Smarty Pants ensures that when a child with a special need is identified on the Enrollment Form the family will be given a Emergency Information for Children with Special Needs Form to be filled out by the family and health care provider. The form is reviewed by staff and parents collaboratively.
Children with special needs are given the opportunity to participate in the program to the fullest extent possible. To accomplish this, Smarty Pants consults with agencies/organizations as needed, provided parental permission is granted.
We request that a copy of the IFSP/IEP be provided to Smarty Pants from the parents upon enrollment and updated annually.
Inclusion of program staff on IFSP/IEP case conferences is desired to ensure Smarty Pants provides the most supportive environment possible.
All staff will receive general training on the benefits of inclusion of children with special needs and training on specific accommodations that any child in their classrooms may need. The knowledge of parents and health care professionals involved in the care of the child with special needs will be consulted to determine accommodations and or therapy requirements.
Smarty Pants welcomes those professionals and works with them to assure the child’s success. The staff works with the family and early intervention/special education service providers to support child and family outcomes. We welcome the service provider to provide services to the child in the context of the Smarty Pants classroom environment and our staff and the service provider work collaboratively to determine the best strategies to support the child in the group setting.