Daily Strategies

Children with disabilities and developmental challenges mostly show the same signs of readiness for toilet training as typically developing children; although, these signs might appear later, and toilet training might take longer.

  • The practices in place at home should be as consistent as practically possible with the ones provided at early childhood education and care settings
  • Discuss progress and focus (some children may need to learn one or two skills at a time) with the family
  • Consider using visual cues in the bathroom area and stories for reminders and as encouragement. Provide encouragement when the child participates in any toilet-training efforts.
Some children can become anxious or overstimulated with changes in routine.

  • Talk to the children about the day and give brief but clear details about who is coming, where the incursion will be held (e.g. indoors at the mat area, or outdoors near the sandpit), what they will be doing throughout the day, when the activity will take place, and how that changes what they would normally be doing
  • It can be helpful to state any special rules and expectations beforehand. This may include: working in small groups; not touching objects, staying seated for a longer period, etc. Consider if the child will need support with these and how you can offer it.
  • Consider creating a visual schedule for the child to take home beforehand and to bring on the day
  • Consider pairing the child with a buddy or an educator they feel safe with
  • Talking to the family about all aspects of the incursion allows them to talk through the experience with the child and contact you if the child (or the family) have any questions or concerns
Some children can become anxious or overstimulated with changes in routine.

  • Talk to the child about the day and give them brief but clear details about who is going with them to the excursion, where the activity will be held, what they will be doing, when the activity will take place, and how that changes what they would normally would be doing
  • State any special rules and expectations beforehand. This may include: traveling on a bus; staying in small groups; not touching objects, etc. Consider if the child will need support with these and how you can offer it.
  • Consider creating a visual schedule for the child to take home beforehand and to bring on the day
  • Consider pairing the child with a buddy or an educator they feel safe with
  • Some children may need to take short breaks or rests. Plan the schedule and activities accordingly
  • Plan excursions in wheelchair accessible locations if relevant. Plan transportation accordingly
  • Consider the pain management needs of a child if relevant
  • Talk to the family about all of the above to ensure that they can talk through the experience with the child and contact you if the child (or the family) have any additional concerns
Safety or evacuation drills are designed to prepare children, educators and other staff at early childhood education and care settings to leave the building quickly and in an organised way in the event of danger (e.g. fire).

  • Consider accessibility of evacuation points and procedures for children with diverse needs
  • Children with disabilities and developmental challenges many find safety drills upsetting
  • Let the child and their family know when the safety drill will occur
  • Make time to demonstrate and practise with the child what you will be doing
  • Consider pairing the child with a buddy or an educator they feel safe with
  • Allow the child to wear noise reduction headphones if the alarms or noise upset them
Children with disabilities and developmental challenges are at increased risk of sleep problems which may include difficulty falling asleep.

  • The practices in place at home for day time naps should be as consistent as practically possible with the ones provided at early childhood education and care settings
  • Work with the child and their family to align naps in each setting as much as possible
  • Discuss bedding needs and the child’s preferences with the family
It is important to look after your own health and wellbeing. Self-care is considered an important professional development activity for educators. Engaging in self-care practices means that you regularly practise activities in all aspects of your life that lower your stress and help you manage your emotional, physical and mental health. Some ideas to consider practising are:

  • staying physically active throughout the day (e.g. go for a short walk at lunchtime and exercise before or after work)
  • taking breaks
  • setting up a peer-support group
  • finding a mentor or more experienced colleague to discuss work with
  • engaging in professional training
  • asking for help when you need it
  • celebrating small and big successes and milestones (yours, and from the children in your room)
  • meditation, mindfulness and relaxation techniques
  • keeping a non-work hobby
  • making time to be with friends and family
  • For more resources on mental health in the workplace, visit https://www.headsup.org.au/

AllPlay Learn stories

AllPlay Learn early stories have been designed for children to help them to find out about what happens at early childhood education and care settings and to feel positive about responding to new situations. Educators can recommend these stories to children and parents to help them feel confident about participating in all activities.

Link to AllPlay Learn's early years stories with text