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Providing an inclusive environment for children with disabilities requires a workforce with appropriate developmental training, understanding and support. Results from sector council projects &em; including surveys and focus groups with students, faculty and employers &em; show a growing awareness of inclusion as an important part of quality early learning and child care. For example, new occupational standards for child care administrators published by the sector council specify requirements for skills and knowledge in inclusive curriculum, programs and practices. And existing staff participating in career promotions focus groups cited supporting children with special needs and their families as one key area where they wanted more professional development opportunities.
Increasingly, programs are making inclusion a priority because it is the right thing to do. Integrating children with special needs means ensuring a workforce that has appropriate developmental training, understanding and support.