Supporting special needs in the childcare classroom blog header

Supporting special needs in the childcare classroom

How can we provide support to children with individual support needs?

Envisioning a preschool environment that meets the needs of all students seems like a challenge, but it’s actually simpler than you may think. With communication, a team effort, and some educational tools, you can establish a classroom where every student thrives.

Adopt inclusive classroom techniques that include a special needs teacher

An inclusive classroom is one where children of all needs are taught in the same setting, rather than separating those with special needs or disabilities. This approach has gained popularity in recent years because it encourages creativity and diversity while promoting interaction and participation.

The addition of a special needs teacher working alongside a traditional educator can offer valuable insight, observation, and feedback about students with behavioral or developmental considerations. Together, the two can work to ensure the curriculum is benefiting everyone.

Know your children’s strengths and understand their individual needs

Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the family, caregivers, or therapists of a child with special needs is one of the best ways to ease the transition into a new learning environment.

Visiting with parents and the child ahead of time allows you the opportunity to discuss how you can best encourage their education. It also gives the family a chance to describe the child’s strengths, hobbies, talents, and other personality traits that will help you develop an appropriate curriculum for them.

Use observation techniques to measure progress

Observation methods are an excellent way of noting improvements and behavioral changes over time and can be a useful tool for communicating with parents.

Narrative records can provide a holistic view of activity at childcare whereas checklists and rating systems are better for objective assessment or completion of specific tasks. The type of childcare observation that you use will depend on the needs of the individual child and may include more than one approach.

Adapt the classroom environment to meet the needs of all children

As the popularity of inclusive learning increases, new teaching resources and methods are emerging for encouraging learning of all kinds.

For example, children with autism might benefit from classroom quiet corners with minimal distractions and dampened lighting. Children with hyperactivity or attention issues can benefit from modifications like group seating that encourage participation or motion chairs that permit a child to focus while moving in place.


Do you teach in an inclusive setting or know of other ways to support children with special needs in the classroom? Join the conversation on Facebook.

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