Diversity is recognizing the differences, inclusion is integrating those with diversity.
Wee Care Developmental is a unique centre. But what makes it unique? It is the practice of inclusion and diversity within the setting.
Since 1973, Wee Care has been serving children with special needs. Originally, there was no inclusion, but rather a group of parents with children who were born with Cerebral Palsy. The parents wanted a place for their children to socialize with other children and for them to share ideas. Back then, other day cares were not equipped nor willing to take children with high medical and physical needs. As more parents heard about this new concept for child care they started asking about their own children with different needs coming in. And so Wee Care began to grow.
The decision to combine children with needs along with typically developing children happened naturally. Word started to get out about the exceptional care that was being offered and the community wanted their typical children to be a part of it. Staff who work with children with needs are a special breed themselves. Over-flowing with compassion, empathy and a gentle touch, our staff are unique themselves. Part nurse, part foster parent, part educator, family liaison and advocate.
Inclusion by definition is the practice of combining children of all abilities together in the same setting where they can learn and participate in the same daily activities and routines as best that they can. Diversity is the acknowledgement and acceptance of the range of differences in a setting.
Very simplistically, toddlers who are not toilet-trained are in the same environment as their toilet-trained peers. They learn skills from each other and they are treated as individuals. The environment is set up to accommodate the needs of both groups of children. There is a toilet and there is a change table and diapers available. Care will depend on the needs presented.
In these modern times, inclusion is becoming the norm rather than the exception. So why is Wee Care still such a unique centre? Over the past decades, we have honed the skills and talents needed to provided the care that the children coming through the doors need. We still see children with Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida, but also g-tubes, autism, mobility concerns, heart issues, rescue medication, oxygen, suctioning, medication administration and much more. Wee Care will make every effort to accommodate the children that have been asked to leave other centres. Because we can, we have the experience, the knowledge base, and the tools.
Wee Care maintains an over-ratio staff to adequately care for the needs of our special children. We also have on site part-time physiotherapy, occupational therapy, music therapy and a seating specialist to modify equipment to suit the individual.