According to the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, “All individuals must be treated equally, regardless of their race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability. The Canadian Human Rights Act also states “employers and service providers are required to accommodate special needs, including those of people with disabilities, short of undue hardship”.
Children with special needs require child care for the same reasons as all children:
- To grow, develop and learn.
- Friendship building and social inclusion.
- Parental employment, training, respite and support.
Special Needs is defined as:
Children who, due to emotional, familial, physical, behavioural, developmental, cognitive, communicative or emotional factors, are at risk of not maximizing their potential. Special needs encompasses children who require support and assistance with daily living, whether formally diagnosed or not, and whether a diagnosis is short- or long term in nature.
Human Resources: All staff of The Family Centre, understand and agree to support inclusive practices as outlined in the Inclusion Policy
Training: All staff attend special needs-focused training opportunities on effective inclusive programming whenever possible.
Programming: The staff adapts the environment and routines as necessary to meet the needs of the children enrolled. The staff develops flexible programming that can be adapted as needed.
Confidentiality: All staff have signed confidentiality agreements upon hiring and yearly thereafter. Staff are aware that they will receive and have access to confidential information about children and families and they agree to keep this information in strict confidence.
Partnerships: The Family Centre will work collaboratively with parents and outside service providers to ensure that the needs of the children are met. We will, with the consent of the parents, refer children to outside service providers when we feel, or the parents feel, that a child may require additional support.
Admission/Registration: All families interested in registering their child are dealt with in a fair and equitable manner.
Transitions: Children with special needs may require extra support when transitioning to a new age group. It is preferred that children move to the next age group as their same-age peers whenever possible.
Extreme Behaviours: At the sole discretion of the Supervisor/Director, a child with extreme behaviour, (as determined by the organization), such as harming themselves, others or the property of the program and is beyond the control of our staff, will be removed from the classroom. While the child is being supervised by a staff or Supervisor, to regain stature, the parent/guardian will be called and that child will need to be picked up from the program.
If the behaviour continues or escalates the following steps will be taken:
Withdrawal: Meet with the family to inform and strategize in regards to the behaviour/situation
- The staff will meet with Supervisor/Director to look at all avenues of developmentally appropriate strategies eg: room setup, programming, checklists etc
- Make a referral to appropriate agency if required and available
- Contact the Municipality to inform them of the situation and seek their assistance if possible