Support for a child’s learning and growth
Learning support is part of supporting a child’s holistic growth and development. Learning support is provided as part of the daycare or preschool group mainly through pedagogical arrangements.
The daycare or preschool group’s instructor is responsible for the planning, implementation and evaluation of learning support, but all educators in the group participate in the practical implementation. It is important for the child that the support forms a consistent whole throughout early childhood education and preschool and as the child enrols in basic education.
The starting point for early and adequate support is the shared knowledge of guardians and early childhood education staff about the child and his or her needs. The staff discuss with guardians about the child’s right to support, the key principles of providing support, as well as the support given to the child and what this means in practice.
The support provided to the child is logged in the child’s early childhood education and care plan.
An early childhood education special needs teacher is actively involved in planning and implementing the support, taking into account the child’s strengths. Kerava’s early childhood education services employ both regional special needs teachers and teachers who work as part of a group.
Forms and duration of support
The levels of support used in early childhood education and care are general, intensified and special support. The levels are flexible, and the right level of support is always decided on a case-by-case basis.
General support is the first method of responding to a child’s need for support. General support consists of individual forms of support, such as individual pedagogical solutions and measures to address the situation as early as possible.
Children in early childhood education and care must be given individually and communally planned intensified support in situations where general support is not sufficient. Intensified support consists of several forms of support that are provided regularly and simultaneously. In early childhood education and care, intensified support requires an administrative decision.
Children have the right to receive special support as soon as the need for such support arises. Special support consists of several forms of support and support services and is continuous and full-time. Special support can be provided due to an injury, illness, developmental delay or other reason requiring support for the child’s learning and development that significantly reduces the child’s ability to function.
Special support is the highest level of support in early childhood education and care. In early childhood education and care, special support requires an administrative decision.
The different forms of support are used at all levels of support according to the child’s needs. The forms of support can be given simultaneously as soon as the need arises as part of the basic activities of early childhood education and care. The support given to the child can include pedagogical, structural and therapeutic forms of support.
The need for support and its success are assessed in the child’s early childhood education and care plan. The plan is reviewed when needed at least once a year or when the need for support changes.
Multicultural early childhood education and care
Children’s linguistic and cultural backgrounds and abilities are taken into consideration in early childhood education. It is important that children are encouraged to participate and express themselves. The aim is that adults support the growth of the child’s linguistic and cultural identity and teach the child to respect different languages and cultures.
In Kerava, the KieliPeda tool is used for supporting children’s linguistic development in early childhood education and care. The KieliPeda tool is designed in response to the need of early childhood education and care to develop language-aware practices and support Finnish language learning, particularly for multilingual children.
Kerava’s early childhood education services employ two Finnish as a second language teachers who provide consultation to daycare teachers.