Inclusive Child Care
Childcare BC is our 10-year plan for an inclusive, universal child care system that is welcoming to all children, including those with support needs. The Province is working to deliver affordable, quality and inclusive child care.
Inclusive child care supports the individual strengths and needs of each child. All children are welcomed, supported, and valued, which allows them to participate meaningfully in all aspects of the child care program. In inclusive programs, children of all abilities have equitable access to quality child care and are provided supportive opportunities to learn through play with other children.
Inclusive child care resources
Inclusive Child Care Toolkit
The Inclusive Child Care Toolkit is a user-friendly resource intended to support quality, inclusive practices in child care settings throughout British Columbia. This toolkit is designed for all child care staff, including early childhood educators, early childhood educator assistants, support workers, managers, and owners of child care programs. The Toolkit encourages reflective practice and provides guidance on developing an inclusion policy.
We heard from parents and child care providers that the requirement for children to use the bathroom independently (toileting) was a barrier for many families in accessing child care, specifically for families whose children have support needs. Through the Canada - British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, funding was provided to CanAssist at the University of Victoria, that develops solutions for people with physical or cognitive barriers, to help make child care centres more inclusive for children with this barrier. CanAssist worked with more than 300 child care providers, parents and subject matter experts, including occupational therapists, to develop toileting resources and supports for child care providers and families:
The Inclusive Bathroom Design Considerations resource includes questions and considerations when building, renovating, or furnishing bathroom spaces intended primarily for use by children. The Ministry of Health, Community Care Facility Licensing and Assisted Living Registry helped develop this resource.
The Toilet Learning Position Statement outlines an inclusive, child centered approach to toileting. It includes discussion about various approaches and strategies for toileting that addresses a broad range of children, including those with support needs.
The Toileting Resource Evaluation Tool was developed to support child care providers, early childhood educators, and related staff in determining the quality and effectiveness of toileting resources and to help them identify resources that best meet the needs of the children and their families.
The Toilet Step Stool (TSS) is designed to offer more stability and a greater sense of security for children when toileting versus standard commercially available step stools. Key features of the TSS include, adjustable height, deep grab handles, a removable toilet paper holder, smooth surfaces for easy cleaning, and it can be collapsed for storage. 1000 step stools were delivered to child care programs across the province in 2021.
Inclusive child care supports
Supported Child Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development
Supported Child Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development are community-based programs that offer a range of consulting and support services to children, families, and child care centres to help children with support needs to fully participate in child care programs. The Aboriginal Supported Child Development program provides supports in a culturally relevant and meaningful way.
To find a Supported Child Development Program in your area, ask your public health nurse, healthcare provider, child care provider or contact your local Ministry of Children and Family Development office.