"We know that children with disabilities benefit from attending their local community early childhood settings. Critical to achieving quality inclusion is the way professionals and families work together; but this is not always easy, noted Ms Staples."
Disability services for children with disability and/or developmental delay are going through significant changes due to the National Disability Insurance Scheme roll out across Australia. Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT is pleased to announce the launch of the Working Together Agreement package to support inclusion for young children with disability and/or developmental delay in the context of these changes.
"We know that children with disabilities benefit from attending their local community early childhood settings. Critical to achieving quality inclusion is the way professionals and families work together; but this is not always easy" noted Ms Staples.
Kerry Staples, an academic in Inclusive Practices at Western Sydney University has been undertaking research around how professionals work together to support inclusion of children with disability and/or developmental delay over the past eight years.
"As the peak body for early childhood intervention, ECIA NSW/ACT received a great deal of feedback about challenges around collaboration and inclusion that were emerging in the context of the roll out of the NDIS. Different practitioners may have varying perspectives. There was a need to find more effective and efficient ways of working together. We needed to come up with a solution that would assist all involved." said Emma Pierce, Inclusion Coordinator, ECIA NSW/ACT.
The Working Together Agreement is a package of practical resources including the agreement itself, sample letters and various templates. This is designed to enhance collaboration and in turn, support inclusion for young children with disability and/or developmental delay in early childhood settings.
The Working Together Agreement package has been developed for use by families, early childhood educators and early childhood intervention practitioners to promote a coordinated approach to early childhood inclusion.
Ms Pierce said "A working group developed and piloted a number of resources to promote a coordinated approach to early childhood inclusion. This project involved consultation with a range of stakeholders including parents, practitioners as well as experts and academics representing the early childhood education and care and early childhood intervention sectors."
"The Working Together Agreement package, which has been informed by the most recent research, provides practical strategies and useful information for families, educators and health practitioners to help them effectively share their expertise to ensure children receive the right support. This is a timely resource that reflects our growing understanding about how important collaborative relationships are to supporting inclusion. The package provides clear guidelines about how best to create strong collaborative partnerships that will help children with disabilities and/or developmental delays successfully learn and play alongside their friends" said Ms Staples.
The Working Together Agreement package will be officially launched at the ECIA NSW/ACT Manager's Forum by the CEO of ECIA NSW/ACT Margie O'Tarpey at 1.30pm on Thursday 2nd March, 2017 at the Portside Centre, Level 6, 207 Kent St, Sydney.
To download the free Working Together Agreement package resources go to: