The administrator of a childcare program in which Luke, a three year old boy with developmental delays, has recently enrolled, shares her perspective. She discusses her attitudes and challenges to support the use of embedded interventions in the classroom (running time: 2 min. 10 sec.).
As the director of a high quality early childhood program, I take great pride in the fact that we work together as a team to serve each child and family as best we can. My staff is committed to working with families to honor and support each child as an individual. All that said, our task has become more challenging as we’re now providing services to children with significant disabilities.
This isn’t going to be easy because I am dealing with teachers’ attitudes, biases and fears about their own abilities to work with children with disabilities. In addition, we need to coordinate our services with those agencies outside our program that will be providing funding and support services. I know that Jackie and her team are going to need some professional development on teaching strategies to support Luke’s participation in the classroom. I need to try to find someone who can come and do some training for the whole staff on communication devices. That way others who interact with Luke on the playground will feel comfortable using this tool too. But I am confident that we can find the resources to make this work.
One of my biggest challenges is going to be finding the time in our already busy schedule for the teachers, therapists and parents to meet. I know that communication is key in coordinating the services that are essential to Luke’s progress. Between myself and our floater, we’ll need to provide coverage in that classroom for service coordination and collaboration to take place. I hope that we’ll be able to provide this on a regular basis. Otherwise I may need to find financial resources to hire some extra help.
Everything that I am reading and hearing from the national association that accredits our program is that providing inclusive services is best practice and the way to go. So we’re going to work hard to reach those standards and maintain a high quality program for all children, families and the practitioners who work with them.