#12 STaR A model of support for children with disabilities in inclusive childcare
Dr Coral Kemp and Mrs Dawn Chadwick
STaR: A model of support for children with disabilities in inclusive childcare
The Special Teaching and Research (STaR) model, initially funded in 2005 by the Australian government as an innovative project, has operated in over 20 childcare centres in the past 10 years.
The approach taken to service delivery has been to support childcare staff, using a combination of formal training and on-site coaching, to provide an appropriate program for children with a range of disabilities. An integration of service delivery, staff and student training, and research is central to the model as is the commitment to evidence-based practice and family support. An important feature of the model is the close collaboration between academics from Macquarie University, and STaR and centre staff. An overview of the model and some of the research and publication outcomes will be presented.
Coral Kemp BA Dip Ed MA (Spec Ed) PhD, has been involved in the education of children in a variety of regular and special education settings as a teacher, early interventionist, consultant, deputy principal, acting principal and program director. Her experience in early childhood intervention has included working as an early intervention teacher, a consultant, a director of two university-based programs, researcher and teacher educator. She wrote a successful grant application for the trial of a staff training and coaching model for the support of infants and
children with disabilities in childcare. Her research interests have included early transitions, inclusion, child engagement and effective interventions as well as early literacy and numeracy development. Coral is an honorary fellow at Macquarie University and an independent special education consultant. She is a committee member of the International Society on Early Intervention.
Dawn Chadwick, Dip Ed Grad Dip Spec Ed MA Hons has many years’ experience in early childhood intervention and in training and mentoring early childhood educators. As coordinator of the Early Years Program at Macquarie University Special Education Centre she developed programs and gained her Masters Honours degree for her research into inclusion in mainstream schools. Dawn’s commitment to successful, research-based inclusion in the early childhood years led to establishing STaR’s Inclusive Early Childhood Intervention Program and more recently, developing Professional Learning Workshops for educators working with young children with additional needs in early childhood settings.
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