An Interview with Children’s World. Accommodating children with special needs
Children’s World is a licensed child care and preschool facility for children between the ages of 2 and 5. In our last interview, we brought up the Emergent Curriculum, which is the concept staff follow. This month, we speak with Mitsuru Haga-Bronstyn, the Manager of Children’s World about the Child Care Environment for Children with disabilities.
In the field of childcare, it is important for childcare workers to understand how to support the diverse needs of all children and how to help create an appropriate support system for children and their parents. How you are supporting families whose children may need additional support?
We recognize that every child is unique and that we need to work with the family to understand what their child needs. Some disabilities are visible and easy to identify, while others are invisible and more difficult to work with, especially if the child is non-verbal. Government support, which allows for specialists is crucial, but in high demand and can take years to receive which makes early identification and development of a care plan a top priority for us. Being a parent is challenging and always full of emotions, and we understand that many parents can feel overwhelmed and alone when trying to navigate government systems while making sure their child has every benefit and opportunity to be successful early in life. Our staff practice an empathy-based approach to childcare that helps to build a trusting relationship with parents so that they know they are not alone and that we are here to support their child. I’m very proud of the professional and caring approaches that our staff take when discussing these subjects with parents. We benefit quite a lot from the support of other organizations that specialize in this area. In our journey to learn how to support children, we’ve had the opportunity to receive on-site training from staff at the BC Centre for Ability*. They have shown us a number of effective techniques that allow us to resolve challenging situations and work more proactively to develop care plans for students.
What kind of support system do you have in place?
The BC Centre for Ability provides counseling services by medical specialists and is always ready to help families with their concerns. In addition, developmental disabilities expert comes to the Children’s World to give advice and guidance to the child care staff facilitators. There is extensive training in childcare for children with disabilities so that our childcare workers can properly understand and support developmental disabilities. The childcare staff at Children’s World work with the BC Centre for Ability staff, Behaviour Consultants, and Behaviour interventionists to develop a plan of care and learning materials that are appropriate for the child. Care plans are reviewed regularly.
*Visual Supports for Students with ASD
What is the difference between Behaviour Consultant and Behaviour Interventionist?
Behavior Consultants provide behavior consultation to those with behavioral and emotional disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. They create a Behaviour Plan for that child, implementing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) intervention strategies that are developed by a team of specialists. This is a profession that requires a master’s degree and certification. The Behaviour Consultant’s other role is to provide guidance to the Behaviour Interventionist based on the plan and, if necessary, to make suggestions for improving the child’s behaviour in cooperation with the parents, nursery schools, kindergartens, and schools. Behaviour Interventionists, on the other hand, are trainers who teach the teaching methods based on the Behaviour Plan so that they can be implemented in homes, nursery schools, kindergartens, etc. They do not require any qualifications. Students and childcare workers often work part-time.
Now for my last question. I heard that you are planning to open a Japanese language environmental daycare program this fall. Could you tell us more about it?
We are currently preparing a Japanese language environmental daycare where the children can stay for 8 hours a day. We have already received permission from the province and are aiming to open the daycare around January 2022. Currently, there are no facilities in the Lower Mainland that offer Japanese language day care (BC-approved group care for 3–5-year-olds, maximum of 25 children) that can take care of children for extended periods of time, and Children’s World is the only facility that can do so. The target age range is 3-5 years old, which is the same as the Japanese Immersion Preschool that Children’s World already offers, but the purpose is different. While the preschool program is more academic in nature, actively incorporating opportunities to learn the Japanese language and culture, daycare allows children to connect with use Japanese language and customs over the course of a day. One of the appealing features is that children learn Japanese language and culture naturally.
Information on the Japanese language environmental daycare will be posted on our website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as soon as details are finalized. If you are interested, please take a look there.
*BC Centre for Ability
The BC Centre for Ability is a non-profit organization that provides community-based services that enhance the quality of life for children, youth, and adults with disabilities and their families in British Columbia since 1969.