Kindergarten inclusion for children with disabilities

Support is available for funded kindergartens to plan and implement a program that is responsive to the individual abilities, interests and needs of children with a disability, developmental delay or complex medical needs.

The Kindergarten Inclusion Support Program (KIS) is designed to contribute to the delivery of quality kindergarten programs in line with the National Quality Framework and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.

The support from KIS programs is in addition to the existing resources available to the kindergarten staff and may not fully cover all costs.

The KIS program:

  • provides assistance to complement early childhood teacher knowledge and skills, while acknowledging their expertise in supporting children’s learning and development
  • supports early childhood teachers to build their capacity to develop and implement an inclusive program
  • supports early childhood teachers to contribute to positive outcomes for children, as defined in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework
  • responds to the child’s abilities and strengths, as well as their needs by supporting the kindergarten to enhance their learning and development.

Inclusive programs encourage and allow all children genuine opportunities to access and participate in kindergarten programs.

There are a range of resources available to support kindergartens to implement an inclusive program.

Types of KIS Programs

Short term assistance support

A trial support program is continuing to run during the 2019 kindergarten year. This program expands the number of children eligible for support under the KIS program to children with a disability or developmental delay without identified ongoing high support needs

Support contributes to the implementation of a short-term inclusion action plan for up to 10 weeks. There is a maximum amount of $2,850 available for each child.

Support can be used for:

For more information contact:

Uniting Victoria/Tasmania Ltd
PO Box 354
Ringwood VIC 3134
Tel: (03) 9871 0210
Email: kis.sta@vt.uniting.org

Disability

This program is designed to enhance the kindergarten’s capacity to support the access and participation of children with a disability or developmental delay and high support needs

Complex medical needs

This program is designed to enhance the kindergarten’s capacity to provide an inclusive program for children with complex medical needs who do not have disability. These children need a high level of health care support without which they are unable to access a funded kindergarten program.

Support available through the KIS disability and complex medical needs programs

Extra assistance from the KIS disability and complex medical needs programs may include:

  • specialist training and consultancy for early childhood educators to meet the individual needs of a child with a disability and high support needs or complex medical needs. This may include reasonable adjustments and modifications of the kindergarten program.
  • minor building modifications such as ramps and grip rails to support the child’s attendance and participation
  • additional staffing support. KIS funded additional assistants work as part of the team delivering the kindergarten program to all children in the group. They should not work exclusively with the child identified in the KIS application. They also cannot be used to increase staff levels to meet licensing requirements.

Additional assistants take direction from the early childhood teacher. They share the everyday team responsibilities to make sure that all children have the opportunity to engage with the learning and development experiences provided within the kindergarten program.

Additional assistants should not supervise a child or a group of children without another educator, employed by the kindergarten, present. This is also relevant when running an indoor/outdoor program and in single early childhood teacher programs.

Team approach to inclusion

All members of the team in the kindergarten environment contribute to the education of all children in the group.

The benefits of a team approach are:

  • The early childhood teacher has increased capacity to provide a flexible program that responds to the needs of each child in the group.
  • The kindergarten promotes understanding of and respect for diversity to children and families/carers.
  • All children are supported to develop trusting relationships with all staff members. These relationships support children to develop a sense of belonging to the group and the broader community. This helps them feel that they are contributing to their world; becoming confident and involved learners with a strong sense of self.
  • Families feel confident that the whole team has knowledge and understanding of their child’s interests, strengths and abilities

Contacts

For more information about the KIS disability and complex medical needs program contact the regional advisory group convenor for your area:

South western Victoria region

LGAs: Greater Geelong, Colac-Otway, Corangamite, Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians, Surf Coast, Queenscliff and Rural City of Warrnambool, contact:

KIS Program
Gateways Support Services
10-12 Albert Street, Geelong West, 3218
Tel (03) 5221 2984

LGAs: Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham, contact:

KIS Program
Lentara Uniting Care
PO Box 3217, Broadmeadows, 3047
Tel (03) 9351 3600

LGAs: City of Ballarat, Rural City of Ararat, Golden Plains, Hepburn, Moorabool and Pyrenees, contact:

KIS Program
Pinarc Disability Support
PO Box 1841, Bakery Hill Business Centre, Ballarat, 3354
Tel (03) 5329 1300

LGAs: Rural City of Horsham, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiak, contact:

KIS Program
Wimmera Uniting Care
PO Box 3402, Horsham 3410
Tel (03) 5382 6789

South eastern Victoria region

LGAs: Bass Coast, Baw Baw, East Gippsland, Latrobe, South Gippsland, Wellington, contact:

KIS Program
Department of Education and Training
PO Box 381, Moe 3825
Tel (03) 5127 0400

LGAs: Bayside, Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Kingston, Mornington, Port Phillip, Stonnington, contact:

KIS Program
Yooralla
PO Box 5435, Cranbourne, 3977
Tel (03) 5990 9640

North western Victoria region

LGAs: Buloke, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Mildura, Mount Alexander, Swan Hill, contact:

KIS Program
Department of Education and Training
PO Box 442, Bendigo, 3552
Tel (03) 5440 3111

LGAs: Banyule, Darebin, Hume, Moreland, Nillumbik, Whittlesea, Yarra, contact:

KIS Program
Lentara Uniting Care
PO Box 3217, Broadmeadows, 3047
Tel (03) 9351 3600

North eastern Victoria region

LGAs: Alpine, Benalla, Shepparton, Indigo, Mansfield, Mitchell, Moira, Murrindindi, Strathbogie, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga, contact:

KIS Program
SCOPE - Ovens Murray and Goulburn Region (East)
PO Box 128, Benalla, 3672
Tel (03) 5762 7121

LGAs: Boroondara, Whitehorse, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Yarra Ranges, contact:

KIS Program
Connections
PO Box 354, Ringwood 3134
Tel (03) 9871 0215