Inclusion Policy – Early Learning and Child Care for Children with Special Needs


This document contains the following:

Legislative Authority
What is Inclusion?
Human Services Department Inclusion Policy
Supporting Policies


The purpose of this document is to provide a policy on Inclusion. This policy will describe in detail what an inclusive active learning environment is, and how it supports the individuality, dignity and development of children within the Human Services Department, Children Services Division.

Legislative Authority

Day Nurseries Act, Reg. 262, S.1, S. 66.1(2)4, S. 54 (1) (2)

Ministry of Children and Youth Services:

  • Ontario Child Care Service Management
  • Guidelines, Fee Subsidy, Sept. 2000
  • Ontario Child Care Service Management

Additional Legislative Authority

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – (Article 23) addresses the human rights of children with a disability by promoting dignity and self reliance and by facilitating the active participation of children with disabilities in their communities.

The Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms – states that: all individuals must be treated equally, regardless of their race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Canadian Human Rights Act – states that: Employer and service providers are required to accommodate special needs, including those of people with disabilities, short of undue hardship.

What is

“An all inclusive society creates both the feeling and the reality of belonging and helps each of us reach our full potential.” (Ontario Inclusion Learning Network)

The Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) defines children with special needs as “children who, due to emotional, familial, physical, behavioural, developmental, cognitive, communicative or emotional factors, are at risk of not maximizing their potential. Special needs encompass children who require support and assistance with daily living, whether formally diagnosed or not and whether a diagnosis is short or long term in nature.”



We believe…

  • An inclusive active learning environment supports all children’s uniqueness, dignity, development
  • Children with special needs are first and foremost children, with the right to be included in all aspects of their community
  • Through using exemplary practices to focus on children’s interest, strengths and needs, we can support all children’s development
  • Partnerships between families and their support systems reflect involvement, input and ongoing collaboration from all participants
  • Diversity in all forms enriches communities to be better and more productive places to Learn. Play. Care.


We believe that all children will develop to the best of their ability if they have a positive, nurturing, secure developmental environment that promotes physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth.

We are committed to responding to the needs of the community and children with special requirements who may physically, developmentally or socially require access to a range of services that will assist them in maximizing their learning opportunities.

The Special Needs Programs offered by the Region of Peel’s Human Services Department gives all children and their families an opportunity to participate in quality early learning and child care. Children with special needs are able to maximize their learning opportunities through individualized programs, supports and services both at the Regional Child Care Centre’s; in the community and through other specialized programs such as, the Valley Infant-Parent Program and the Shelter Program.


In addition to the Human Services Department’s guiding principles and policy statement, the Region of Peel and Children’s Services Division have developed further policies to support the standards of inclusion.

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