9 May 2017
the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure:
"they have been selected for inclusion in the scheme"
Toasting in the Millennium back on New Year’s Eve in 1999, I declared to Family and Friends I was going to open a Nursery School. Now back then Nursery School was for the wealthy, the rich and the successful. We had simply two Parent groups:
1. The Professionals, the Doctors, Dentists, Surgeons, Footballers and the Self Made Business Men (the Guys who made the money)
2. Their wives (the ones who spent it)
My announcement that New Year’s Eve, was met with concerned looks as if I had gone completely mad.
‘Why’ I was asked? ‘You don’t need to work, you’re a wife’
‘I don’t think it’s fair’ I replied to my ‘wifey’ friends, ‘Our children have had the best possible start in life that money can buy, all children don’t get the same opportunities that ours do’ ‘I want to change that, I want all children to be included’ was my answer.
By the time Rob and I were turning the key into our new first nursery property, I felt the full wrath of ‘Exclusion’ I was no longer part of the ‘wives’ realm, I had transitioned to a ‘working parent’ a branding badge I wore with pride, despite the fact that I was isolated and alone. I was no long ‘included’
Now fast forward 17 years and thankfully our Parent groups have changed significantly, we still have two groups however, they are:
2. Everyone else
Thankfully ‘Inclusion’ has also changed with time. Inclusion is no longer ‘you’re in, or you’re out’ Inclusion is all about valuing everyone as individuals, giving access and opportunity to all and removing discrimination and barriers that prohibit involvement. Treating everyone with love, value and respect is not an optional extra in the delivery of care, it is at the core of what we do. It is quite simply normal every day practice.
I have never been able to ‘measure’ before whether my Millennium promise to battle for change and inclusion has been successful, that was until I read an email a few days ago. An email that reduced me to tears from the most inspirational Parent I have ever had the pleasure to meet. When Kelly and I met, I realised immediately that Kelly can and is willing to help other mums in the same position that she and her family were in. Kelly is happy for me to share her story and happy to help any mum that can relate.
Kelly is an incredible mum and her and her husband have two wonderful children and the bonus of an extra chromosome.
Kelly’s journey from postnatal diagnosis, fear of raising a child with a special ability, challenging stigmas and facing fears is extraordinary.
This is the email:
Please forgive this direct e-mail, however, in the moment of staff change in rooms at the Stables I wanted to directly share with you my experiences.
Ted is currently in the baby room, our second child to attend The Stables. Ted has Down’s Syndrome, a post-natal diagnoses so a little bit of a shock!
From the moment we walked in to collect our eldest boy, A****, in January 2016 and shared this news with your team we’ve had nothing but positivity, professionalism and a genuine interest. I questioned initially whether a boy ‘like Ted’ would be able to attend mainstream nursery, this question was treated with absolute shock and surprise by the team and a response of ‘why wouldn’t he’?
Ted joined at 9 months in October, from that moment he has thrived in your care, Nat, Georgia & Jess have been outstanding as the baby room team. Ted is included and very much part of mainstream nursery life, your management team, Leanne Nic, Kerry, Emma are flexible and approachable in their outlook to Ted’s needs. The interaction of all staff with Ted is lovely to watch, we feel as parents, that the whole team really do love all the children that they care for, which as a parent leaving a child is all you can ask for. Ted has a new key worker with Amy – who we know extremely well and are not phased in the slightest by the staff change.
We have a portage worker assigned to Ted now and she has recently made a visit to see Ted in his nursery setting, again the support received was outstanding and whilst I see this is a disruption to the day, your team have embraced it and welcomed the chance to learn how to support Ted. I want to add that Kerry in her role as SENCO has been fantastic, we have regular communication on pick up / drop off fact finding about what we may need in the future – Kerry is knowledgeable around the various topics of communication, behaviour, physical development and is open to learning / adapting to meet Ted’s needs.
I guess the point of my e-mail apart from recognising the amazing work that the team do is to also to let you know first-hand from a parent that you absolutely are delivering first-class childcare, you focus very much on what a child can do & your nursery is very much about inclusion – your team have made such a positive impact in both our boys lives, I hope you’re proud of what you & your teams have achieved.
Wishing you a great weekend.
Kelly, Richard, A**** & Ted
Mums are a wonderful support network for other mums in need. Sharing experiences both the good and the bad, really do help along the way. Parenting isn’t easy, its full of highs and lows. Please don’t worry alone. Sharing is most definitely Caring.
Should you feel you would like to talk to Kelly her number is: 07900690694
Have a wonderful weekend everyone.