#11 Engagement and embedded intervention
Dr Jane Warren, University of Wollongong and Ms Caitlin Townsend, Jamberoo Preschool
Engagement and embedded intervention
Strong foundations of relationships within Early Childhood Education and Care centres position these environments as natural early intervention opportunities. Since the introduction of the National Quality Framework in 2012, all early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres are required to incorporate the principles, practices and learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).
The principles within the framework reflect ‘contemporary theories and research evidence concerning children’s learning and early childhood pedagogy’ (DEEWR 2009, p. 12). These principles are significant in authentic engagement of all children, irrespective of individual background, circumstance or additional need. For children with disabilities, providing quality participation, and embedded intervention in the early childhood environment addresses these principles. It is essential that children with disabilities are provided with additional support to be fully engaged in the early childhood environment, so they are offered the wide range of opportunities other children are able to access.
This presentation will explore these key principles, which need to underpin practices to ensure that children can progress in the learning outcomes identified in the EYLF. In addition, current research regarding engagement and embedded intervention (McWilliam 2008 -2014) will be explored. We will build the presentation around a specific child with multiple and complex disabilities who is included and engaged in his local early childhood education and care centre. His inclusion in this centre aligns strongly with social inclusion – where positive attitudes and practices empowers individuals, families and communities to enable social connections and meaningful participation for all. Being included in the centre not only benefits him, but enriches all those involved.
Dr Jane Warren trained as an Early Childhood Teacher and worked for ten years in a preschool setting with children aged 3-5 years of age where she became passionate about inclusion of all children, including those with disabilities. She strongly supports the importance of early learning on future outcomes for children (including positive attitudes), and believes that early intervention for children with disabilities takes many forms, including being part of an ECEC centre. Jane strongly believes in the importance of parents, educators and other community organisations working in
partnership to meet the needs of individual children, which inspired her recently completed Doctorate in Education, focusing on the transition of children with disabilities into ECEC centres. She loves working with children and families in a supported playgroup environment as a stepping stone to further inclusion, and inspiring university students to be passionate, inclusive educators.
Ms Caitlin Townsend is an early childhood teacher currently completing a masters degree in inclusive education. It became obvious to Caitlin very early in her career that children with additional needs and their families faced many barriers in education, particularly in relation to inclusion in the learning environment. Her observations set her on a path to see what she could do to help break down the barriers.
Caitlin’s focus is to provide quality education and care for all children through inclusive and innovative practices. She strongly believes the EYLF provides a positive foundation for inclusive practices particularly when educators, families and other professionals work in partnership to utilise the principles and achieve outcomes.
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