Access to Early Childhood education for all

 

Globe Wilkins Preschool endeavours to offer an education service readily accessible to all children, including those children who experience a disability.

In 2014 under the directorship of Ruth Mules, the Preschool underwent a self-directed study named ‘Another Language’, in order to determine how the service could better cater for children with additional needs. The objective was to challenge the status quo, positioning the service to accept a greater-than-typical number of pre-schoolers experiencing a disability. In this way, Globe Wilkins Preschool moved toward addressing the inequity of access to early childhood education for children experiencing a disability.

“We are trying to implement a transformative leadership approach at Globe, which is all about community leadership and looking at inequity and where they exist and then challenging that. And we are trying to construct fairer and more equitable processes and practices that result in better outcomes for families experiencing disadvantage. The Another Language project is just one project of many that we have happening at Globe.” Ruth Mules

In developing the ‘Another Language’ approach, the group of educators identified diverse learning languages that children demonstrate. The team then developed skills and tools to support these languages, practising with each other and with the children, such that all children and educators at Globe could engage with the various languages. This child-led approach encouraged strong and communicative relationships between all the children, independent of educators, and empowered each individual child to navigate their own experience and learning trajectory at Preschool.

“And it helped all of the children in our preschool gain insights into relationships and different ways of being and learning that otherwise they may not have had. The more we engage and respect our similarities and differences, the more compassionate we’ll be and the better we will be at understanding and relating to one another—that’s what early childhood services and communities are all about.” Ruth Mules