The SIP as a Planning Tool for Inclusion
The SIP as a stand-alone tool can help educators to develop some clear strategies to include children with additional needs or work towards inclusion readiness. The aim of the SIP is to increase educator knowledge and skills to include all children in a care environment.
A SIP may be for the whole service (inclusion readiness) or a specific care environment. Either way, it is important that all educators in the service or room are involved in thinking about:
· Children’s needs
· The barriers to inclusion, and
· Strategies and actions that may help to include all children more effectively.
Research indicates that when all educators work as a team and value the input of others, services are more likely to achieve long-lasting positive outcomes and improvements, because every educator has a sense of ownership.
Critical reflection is the basis for the SIP; the IP will guide educators to explore different aspects of inclusion and the care environment, for example, inclusion principles, current practices in the service, theoretical approaches, etc., in development of the SIP.
Your IP may provide you with an inclusion self-assessment tool. This allows services to measure their current capacity level in terms of what they are doing well and what areas need improvement. It also provides a starting point for services and their SIP, to identify barriers within the service or the care environment.
Where do we start?
As soon as you request support from your Inclusion Agency, you will be required to develop a SIP. This is because the SIP will assist you to define what level of support your service or care environment needs - practical support, specialist equipment, linking with other organisations, funding support.
This is an essential step. At first glance, it sometimes looks like funding is the ultimate solution; the reality is that funding does not build capacity in a care environment. There are many useful types of support other than funding.
Regardless of the type of support that a service requests from the Inclusion Agency, they must develop a SIP in collaboration with their IP. This is a requirement under the Inclusion Support Program (ISP).
The SIP to plan for IDF Subsidy Support
When educators have developed the SIP, sometimes the need for a funding application becomes apparent. Educators may have identified IDF Subsidy as a strategy to ensure the inclusion of all children. Your IP can assist you with developing a case for an application.
The actions in your SIP need to outline clearly, why you require funding support.
So, how specific should Actions be?
Actions to reduce or remove barriers to inclusion are specific to the care environment.
Actions should detail:
· The specific tasks and approaches educators will implement
· When across the day they will be implemented
Educators should be able to implement the Action based on the detail provided in the action item, including the resources listed.
Source: IDFM (2016)