There is a growing acceptance of the need to integrate children with extra support needs into daycare programs, and more and more daycare centers are attempting to integrate these children. To support the daycare workers who must learn to accommodate children with extra support needs, we must consider how we support these workers. Their own sense of community is one element other elements described in this paper include working with specialists and parents to identify goals for the child, and ensuring that daycare workers and specialists had a simple and non-directive method of communicating about the child with each other.
The academic study of integrating children with extra support needs into daycare programs in Canada is a relatively new field. As Irwin, Lero and Brophy (2004) note, the movement towards integration has only emerged in Canada since the 1970s; even now, integration is somewhat inconsistent, with some provinces and territories providing more funding and special support resources than others (Irwin, Lero and Brophy: xx-xxi). Because this is a relatively new area, there are many factors that need to be explored in greater detail. This paper is focused on one area in particular; what occurs when daycare workers are put into a new situation, where they must support the integration of children with extra support needs into the facility where they work. The primary questions I will explore are how to support the needs of these workers, and how to approach the problems that can occur with this kind of change (questions of leadership and empowerment).
[...] As discussed above, we want to explore and understand how workers in daycare centres can be supported in their efforts to integrate children with extra support needs, and also, how the problems that will naturally occur during a period of change can be dealt with. Devore and Hanley- Maxwell (2000) noted in their study that: “Barriers and facilitators affecting collaborative relationships were identified as investment in the program, perceived ownership of the children, a shared philosophy, staff communication, role release, role clarity and satisfaction, stability in adult relationships, initiative, and administrative support.” (Devore and Hanley-Maxwell: 247). [...]
[...] One aspect of managing the needs of children with extra support needs has been identified in several studies: making an inventory of the child's needs, and providing a roadmap/goals statement of where the child is, and what the parents and specialists feels are the most important goals for the child's immediate development. These type of inventory documents work in two ways they help current workers understand the child and connect to both the child and its family, and also help new workers quickly and easily understand the child and its needs. [...]
[...] As Wolery, Brashers and Neitzel note: “This challenge can be stated in the form of the following question: How can relatively unprepared (but often well-meaning, overworked, and underpaid) childcare teachers use recommended early intervention practices to teach functional goals during the ongoing activities and routines of the day (i.e., in the context of the many other demands for the teachers' attention and energy)?” (Wolery, Brashers and Neitzel: 134) In a study of school leaders and their openness to change, Klecker and Loadman (1999) note that there are various aspects of openness to change; intellectual acceptance is one dimension, but behavioral changes and changes on the affective (feeling) dimension are also needed. [...]
[...] What Makes a Good Leader? the Go-To "Guy" with Vision and Passion Will Top the Org Chart-And Lead Change Management. ABA Banking Journal, 97(12), 21-33 Devore, S., & Hanley-Maxwell, C. (2000). Wanted to See If We Could Make It Work": Perspectives on Inclusive Childcare. Exceptional Children, 241-259 Eneroth, K., & Larsson, R. (1996). The Human Side of Strategic Change: Introducing a Multifaceted Approach. International Studies of Management & Organization, 3-15 Green, B. L., Everhart, M., Gordon, L., & Gettman, M. G. (2006). [...]
[...] However, beyond this, daycare workers can be supported by: identifying and developing their sense of confidence in their ability to work with and help children with extra support needs developing their sense of community and support for each other, especially among younger workers who have experienced integration with children with extra support needs clearly stating the goals and needs of these children, as outcomes of their interaction with other children, and providing these goals and needs in writing for reference by the childcare workers proving childcare workers with additional insight into children with extra support needs, to enable workers to see these children holistically, as members of the community who should be integrated into that community. [...]
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