Welcome to our weekly quality improvement support series for 2021.
“It’s our polite nudge in the ribs to help you and your team stay organised and on task.”
This week’s subject is: 3.2.1: Inclusive environment
Element 3.2.1: Inclusive environment
Outdoor and indoor spaces are organised and adapted to support every child’s participation and to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments.
Is the design and layout of your indoor and outdoor environments a reflection of the children and families at your service?
Does the design and layout of the environment support all children (and families) to:
- experience a sense of belonging
- feel challenged
- experience success
- feel accepted
Inclusion is not limited to considering children with additional needs, it’s much broader than that. Inclusion is about considering the diversity of your children (and families) in all aspects including age, ability, cultural beliefs, traditions, interests & Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) families. Educators should keep this front of mind when planning, setting up or re-arranging the environment and resources.
The Early Years Learning Framework and the Framework for School Age Care recognise the potential of the physical environment for achieving learning outcomes for all children through a play-based learning pedagogy. An environment that has been carefully and specifically designed and set up to support inclusion will assist in catering to the individual needs of the children, promote their confidence and competence and support exploration and play-based learning.
Inclusive environment: Reflective questions:
- What modifications have been made to the physical environment to cater to the needs of individual children or their families?
- Is the service environment warm, home-like and welcoming to all families?
- Does the service provide relevant resources and information in languages that represent the families at the service?
- Are opportunities provided for children to contribute to the planning, setting up and modifying the physical environment?
- How do we measure the success of the layout of the environment & do we regularly evaluate the effectiveness and inclusiveness of the physical environment?
- How do we ensure the environment provides a diverse range of meaningful learning experiences while maintaining a warm, homely environment for children?
- Are resources adapted and flexible to support each child?
- How is the environment equipped and organised to cater for all ages and levels of capabilities?
- How are the backgrounds and cultures of families and the broader community reflected in the environment?
- How can the physical environment be adapted to include all children and provide for their needs and specific interests?
Resources for services:
The Childcare Centre Desktop has a range of resources relating to your physical environment and inclusion. These include the Physical Environment Audit, Physical Environment and Parent Journey Procedure, Physical Environment Policy, Inclusive Audit and much more.
Resources, NQS Element, Regulation and System7 links
National Quality Standard – QA 3/ 3.2.1- Inclusive Environment
If you have any questions send us a note via the Contact page here!