Education and Early Childhood Development
June 16, 2016

Enhancing Child Care Services

Enhancements Strengthen Inclusion Program for Regulated Child Care

Today, the Provincial Government announced enhancements to the Inclusion Program, a voluntary option for eligible child care services to support the inclusion of all children in regular child care programming. The changes will come into effect in the fall of 2016.

“The enhancements to the Inclusion Program demonstrate government’s commitment to regulated child care and inclusion of all children regardless of their exceptionality. Ensuring that inclusive opportunities are available in the earliest stages of a child’s life assists us on our journey to building an inclusive society. I want to thank our stakeholders and the child care industry for helping shape and inform these policy changes.”
- The Honourable Dale Kirby, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

The Inclusion Program has been in place since 2006. Recently the program underwent a comprehensive review that included consultations with key stakeholders, a cross jurisdictional scan of current inclusive practices across Canada, and a thorough analysis and update of the policies, procedures and forms.

The following enhancements will be implemented for eligible child care services:

  • All staff funded through the Inclusion Program will be required to obtain a minimum qualification of Entry Level Certification through the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • The staffing grant has been extended to cover the cost of a substitute for a staff member to attend multi-disciplinary planning meetings, professional learning opportunities, or other recommended activities to enhance inclusionary practices;
  • Policies for transitional planning will be developed to support smoother transitions for children as they move from one environment to another including from child care to the school system and out of child care at the age of 13; and
  • The inclusion process will promote increased parental involvement and communication with the child care service provider.

“The Association of Early Childhood Educators Newfoundland and Labrador supports the Provincial Government’s approach to inclusive child care. The initiatives that are in place provide the expertise and funding that allow early childhood educators to accommodate the developmental requirements of children with special needs in regulated child care. Early childhood educators, children and families all benefit from the expertise of the inclusion consultants and the funding for additional staff and reduced group sizes.”
- Mary Walsh, Chairperson, Association of Early Childhood Educators of NL

To alleviate some of the financial barriers identified by the child care industry, in having to wait to be reimbursed for staffing grants and funded space, the Provincial Government also announced that an advance of up to 80 per cent per month will be disbursed at the beginning of each month with the remaining approved funding for that month provided at the end of the month upon submission of documentation.

“The Inclusion Program has many benefits to family child care providers who care for children with special needs. The Family and Child Care Connections providers avail of the supports offered through the Inclusion Program to meet the individual needs of all children in their care. I am pleased to see that these enhancements reflect the issues and voice of the child care industry.”
- Valerie Collins, Coordinator, Family and Child Care Connections

A new policy handbook will be available online in the fall of 2016 to support consistent implementation of the program throughout the province.

QUICK FACTS

  • The Provincial Government announced enhancements to the Inclusion Program, a voluntary option for eligible child care services to support the inclusion of all children in regular child care programming. These changes will come into effect in the fall of 2016.
  • All staff funded through the Inclusion Program will be required to obtain a minimum qualification of Entry Level Certification through the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • To alleviate some of the financial barriers identified by the child care industry an advance of up to 80 per cent per month will be disbursed at the beginning of each month with the remaining approved funding for that month provided at the end of the month upon submission of documentation.
  • A new policy handbook will be available online in the fall of 2016.

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Media contacts:

Blair Medd
Director of Communications
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
709-729-0048, 631-8465
blairmedd@gov.nl.ca
Mary Walsh
Chairperson
Association of Early Childhood Educators of Newfoundland and Labrador
aecenl@nfld.net
709-834-4548
Valerie Collins
Coordinator
Family and Child Care Connections
709-754-7090 ext 2
vcollins@nfld.net

2016 06 16                              9:30 a.m.