Community Living Manitoba Child Care Inclusion Committee
The Community Living Manitoba Child Care Inclusion Committee are a group of volunteers who meet on a monthly basis to promote inclusion in Manitoba’s early learning community. Members are centre directors, ECEs, parents of children with special support needs, college faculty, students and government employees (Manitoba Child Care Program and Manitoba Children’s Special Services.) They have exhibited innovation in the support of children with intellectual disabilities and other special support needs in their care, by sharing policy statements and providing peer to peer support, acting as leaders to their colleagues at their own centres and within their own groups in the childcare community. They have gone beyond the bounds of the traditional job description to ensure that inclusion and participation are at the core of the child’s child care/nursery school experience, by developing specific job descriptions that focus on leadership, quality and inclusion and by mentoring others to this way of thinking. They have demonstrated strong leadership by making a commitment to this volunteer work and by helping to create bridges between the childcare and disability communities and positive role modeling in the community through their writing and public speaking on this issue.
In 2004, the group first developed a survey of how the field interprets the value of a mission statement for inclusive childcare and how job descriptions and titles flow from the vision of inclusion held by the specific childcare centre. The survey was published in the Manitoba Child Care Association’s fall 2004 journal, and circulated by email to hundreds of Manitoba childcare centres. Response to the work was strong, with many centre directors asking for specific examples of appropriate language and policies.
The group soon realized that prior to developing language suited for use by a centre, an overarching vision of early childhood inclusion needed to be developed and agreed upon. Through PATH, a creative facilitation half day workshop, we were helped to develop a graphic vision for inclusion. This was followed by extensive dialogue and word-smithing and eventual consensus on the wording. Subsequently, the Vision was endorsed by the Manitoba Child Care Association and by Community Living Manitoba. During 2005 and 2006, committee members shared the vision via informal community workshops and discussions at Director Support Group meetings, staff meetings, and with students. The Group wrote to the Minister of Family Services and
Housing to endorse it as well, and the Province committed that an inclusion statement would be released by the province (and this occurred in spring 2009).
ALL children bring gifts
and have the right to be valued, accepted and included.
We embrace inclusion and celebrate diversity as the means to foster the well being of every child and thereby enrich our communities.
All are entitled to full participation and support
to meet their individual needs
using a strength based, family centered approach
whereby we all learn from each other.
The Inclusion Committee has released Inclusive Policies Resource Kit (Feb 2008) and Trousse de politiques inclusives (2009) to support childcare programs’ work to embed an inclusion vision into daily practice. In addition, the group is regularly called upon to deliver a Fear Factor workshop which uses imagery and interaction to help overcome barriers that can prevent some children from being accepted, included and welcomed in child care centres. http://www.aclmb.ca/Early_Childhood_Education/Fear_Factor_Flyer.pdf
Members also contribute an article about inclusion in ECE to each issue of the MCCA quarterly journal.
The Committee welcomes new members! For more information, please contact Brigitte Insull firstname.lastname@example.org
SpeciaLink: The National Centre for Child Care Inclusion
76 Cottage Road,
Sydney, NS B1P 2C7
Phone (902) 562-1662
FAX (902) 539-9117
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