Additional Needs and Inclusion Resources for Early Childhood Educators

Inclusive practices in early childhood education ensure all children, including those with additional learning needs, have equitable and authentic opportunities to learn and develop.  

Our early childhood education resources share inclusive practice examples. An illustration of this can be seen in Inclusive Outdoor Play. The resource demonstrates how, with a bit of creativity, outdoor environments can meet the needs of all children. 

We also provide special needs resources to support learners with dyslexia, autistic spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and other diversities. The A to Z of Special Needs is a popular title.  

Promote success for all and inclusive practice in childcare by browsing our resources.


What is inclusive practice in childcare? 

Inclusive practice in childcare is ensuring all children have equal and genuine opportunities to participate and learn in everyday routines, interactions, play, and learning experiences. 

It involved educators making curriculum decisions based on each child’s strengths, needs, interests and abilities. ‘Curriculum decisions’ are not limited to just planned experiences. They also include the impromptu choices educators make throughout the day. 

Inclusive practice occurs when educators partner with families and other professionals to make careful and informed curriculum decisions.  

Inclusive practices in early childhood education also extend to the learning environments. Supportive environments, according to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) V2.0, are those that: 

  • are vibrant and flexible 
  • respond to children’s capabilities, culture, languages and interests 
  • reflect the local community. 

The EYLF V2.0 says educators support inclusion when they recognise and respond to the barriers children face. “Such barriers can be related to disability, family diversity, cultural and linguistic diversity, neurodiversity, children and families living through trauma and adversity.” 

If you are looking for professional development in cultural and social inclusion, check out our online courses

What is inclusive assessment practice in early childhood? 

Inclusive assessment practice in early childhood is a holistic approach that acknowledges each child’s abilities, strengths and competencies.  It allows the different ways children learn and develop to be celebrated and reflects who they are and where they belong.  

Central to inclusive assessment is its ability to enhance children’s sense of themselves as confident and creative individuals. This is not only acknowledging the “giant leaps children make in their learning but the small steps as well” (EYLF V2.0).  

Additionally, actively involving children in the assessment process enables them to reflect on their learning and how they learn best, and ensures greater inclusion. 

Incorporating families and other professionals is another key part of inclusive assessment practice. Together, they enable new understandings to emerge than if the educator was solely responsible. Different cultural views may otherwise be excluded, as illustrated by the EYLF V2.0: 

“Developing inclusive assessment practices with children and their families demonstrates respect for diversity, and helps educators, families, and children make sense of the assessment information.”  

What special needs resources do you recommend? 

The special needs resources we recommend to early childhood educators are: 

The A to Z of Special Needs by Anne Vize 

This is an indispensable reference for educators and school teachers working with special needs children. The resource features a wide range of special needs, describing features, diagnosis, implications for learning and adaptations.  

Purchase this title to base your practice for teaching special needs children on an evidence-based approach that promotes success for all.  

Special Educational Needs in Practice edited by Selena Ledgerton 

Remove the barriers special needs children often face in early childhood education. Special Educational Needs in Practice offers clear explanations of how a variety of additional needs manifest, followed by advice on what educators can do to ensure inclusion.