What is a Strategic Inclusion Plan?
A Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP) is a planning tool for early childhood education and care services accessing the Inclusion Support Program. It documents goals and progress to help ensure all children experience a sense of belonging.
Developing a Strategic Inclusion Plan in collaboration with your Inclusion Professional is your first step to getting inclusion support, including accessing funding from the Inclusion Development Fund (IDF) or borrowing specialist equipment from the Specialist Equipment Library.
Who are Strategic Inclusion Plans for?
All long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and occasional services can, and should, have a current Strategic Inclusion Plan in place.
What are the benefits of a Strategic Inclusion Plan?
- It will support your service to embed diversity, culture and inclusion in all aspects of curriculum decision-making (which can reflect Exceeding practice as outlined in the NQS)
- It is essential if your service needs to access Inclusion Development Funding
- It links with your Quality Improvement Plan
- Authorised officers may request to see it during assessment and rating.
Strategic Inclusion Plan barriers and strategies
When developing your Strategic Inclusion Plan, you and your Inclusion Professional will reflect on barriers to inclusion, and strategies and actions that your service can put in place to include all children more effectively.
What are some examples of barriers to inclusion in early and middle years settings?
Barriers are things that impact your service’s capacity to include children with additional needs alongside their typically developing peers.
Child-specific barriers may include challenging behaviours, limited communication skills, sensory issues and more.
Educator barriers may include a lack of knowledge around caring for a child with a specific medical condition, such as epilepsy. Educator barriers may also include English as a second language, high staff turnover, lack of teamwork and more.
Other barriers may relate to the physical environment, program structure, parent/guardian concerns or the supervision of all children. Get more examples of inclusion barriers.
What are some examples of inclusion strategies?
A strategy identifies what your service is going to do to address a barrier to inclusion. For each barrier, you must propose one or more strategies to address it.
How do I start my Strategic Inclusion Plan?
The first step is to get in touch with your local Inclusion Professional.
Your inclusion professional will support you to:
- Identify barriers to inclusion
- Develop strategies to address the barriers
- Develop and undertake actions to implement the strategies
How often does our Strategic Inclusion Plan need to be reviewed?
With support from your Inclusion Professional, you should review your service’s SIP every year.
Can I use a paper-based Strategic Inclusion Plan?
Yes! Using a paper-based Strategic Inclusion Plan is a great way to share your plan with your whole team. This will help educators to implement the strategies and actions in the SIP, as well as discuss progress towards your overall goals.
If you’ve already completed a SIP on the Inclusion Support Portal, you may wish to generate a printable version that can be shared with educators. Learn how.