The availability of inclusive child care benefits society in many ways, not only by making it possible for parents to continue to work but also through setting standards for inclusion early in a child’s life. SpeciaLink, based in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, is an organization committed to expanding opportunities for young children with special needs through improving the quality and availability of inclusive child care, education, and recreation. SpeciaLink engages in research and provides resources that are useful to anyone whose work involves young children, from early childhood educators to health care professionals to policymakers.

Among SpeciaLink’s most important contributions to child care inclusion in Canada is The SpeciaLink Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scale, a tool for assessing the quality of inclusion in early childhood centres, both in policy and in classrooms. The results of assessment with this tool can help organizations evaluate their current programs and improve their inclusivity. There is excellent evidence to support the use of this tool, gleaned from an extensive study. Over 3000 early childhood professionals have already been trained in the use of the The SpeciaLink Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scale, but others can train themselves using the complementary DVD, How to Measure Inclusion Quality in Child Care: A SpeciaLink Training DVD for the Inclusion Scales.

To learn more about SpeciaLink, visit its website here. For more information about the SpeciaLink Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scale, the training DVD, or any of SpeciaLink’s other products, as well as to find out how to order them, click here