When we think about an inclusive classroom in the private early childhood many thoughts come to mind but there are some things we need to keep in mind. Creating an environment of inclusion means a shift in our way of thinking, including a special needs child should not be considered extra work for the teacher but a learning experience for everyone. It requires all stakeholders to embrace it, be flexible and wiling to observe, reflect and make changes as needed. Many times the teacher or teachers are not properly trained to accept children with disabilities in their classroom and they struggle with the class.
While every state does not have special quality rating systems for early childhood programs that have high quality inclusion program, there are 4 states that have stepped up. Georgia, Illinois, Maryland and North Carolina have created a system to identify high-quality schools as well as provide information to the parents. More states should adapt this idea because not only is it a great marketing feature but it also means more training for the teachers, which we so desperately need.
Horowitz, M. & Squires, J. (2014). QRIS and Inclusion: Do state QRIS standards support the learning needs of all children? (CEELO FastFact). New Brunswick, NJ: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes.