When working as a practitioner within early years it is important to remember the individual responsibility as a practitioner concerning equality of opportunities for children. It is therefore my responsibility as the provider to ensure that the setting has an effective equal opportunities and inclusion policy (see appendix 2), ensuring staff have the appropriate training to ascertain the equality of opportunities that are made available and support is in place for children with additional needs to include learning difficulties and disabilities.
‘The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 amended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to make unjustified discrimination by education providers against disable pupil, students and adult learners unlawful. The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 took things further, giving most public authorities a positive duty to promote disability equality’. (Direct Government UK, 2010).
From the research and documentation I have examined the word ‘special’ continues to be used when mentioning children with disabilities. In our society today there is a vast range of learning difficulties and disabilities amongst children, young people and adults. I regard the children within our setting as having ‘additional’ needs and think this is an enhanced language to be using in our current environment.
When working as a practitioner within early years it is important to remember the individual responsibility concerning equality of opportunities for children as well as forming relationships between the child’s parents, I believe it is imperative and essential for the development and progress of every child to enable all children are included within the setting. ‘Inclusion is the practice of including all the children together in a setting. The children participate fully in all the regular routines and activities of the classroom, though these might need to be modified to meet individual children’s goals and objectives for all the children (with and without SEN) and individual targets for the children who have SEN’. (Mortimer, 2002, p.14)
The government recognises inequality and discrimination still continue within our society and continues to update legislation. ‘The Equality Act 2010 provides a new cross-cutting legislative framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all; to update, simplify and strengthen the previous legislation; and to deliver a simple, modern and accessible framework of discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society’. (Equalities Act, 2010).
Implementing effective policies that ensure an equality of opportunity for all children including children with additional learning requirements is a specific legal requirement set out in the Statutory Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). ‘Practitioners must plan for the needs of children from black and other minority ethnic...