What is differentiation in childcare?
It is simply a method of teaching which involves employing various teaching techniques to instruct a diverse range of students, with varied learning needs. In a daycare center, you are likely to find a heterogeneous group of students with different abilities, interests, flexibility and academic level. You are required to use different instructional strategies to teach the students. The goal is to ensure that every student has mastered essential skills and knowledge without disadvantaging anyone.
Differentiation including special needs children
At any quality, childcare center, you will find different kinds of children with different abilities, needs, interests and educational level. As a childcare giver, you should encourage the parents to share with you vital information of their children and what disability, if any, they might have. By working together, the parents of the child and the professional can ensure that the child gets the best daycare services. Many adaptations you will make for the benefit of the children will range from simple to complex, depending on the specific needs of the children.
Here are some differentiation tips you can try:
It is important to plan together: as already mentioned, it is important for caregivers, parents and policy makers to come together and set goals. The important stakeholders should come together to create an Individualized Education Plan for the children. Activities such as play time and exercises should be discussed.
Modify the toys: some children may be disabled while other may be bigger or smaller than the others. Each toy equipment should fit the needs of the child. For instance, a child who has difficulty moving his/her hand, it is best to avoid giving him toys that will require the use of hands.
Take care of the environment: an environment can play a critical role in the development of your child. A child with eye problems may benefit from additional lighting while a hyperactive child is better off in quiet environment for better concentration.
Model good behaviors: children learn by example. Children also influence the attitude and behavior of other children. Children with appropriate behaviors should be made to act as example to others.
Look at the needs and strengths of each child: each child has a unique need. At the same time, each child has a strength. The key is to avoid focusing on the disabilities and strengthening their songs.
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