Home      About Us         Inclusion Assistance    Inclusion in the News     Inclusion Action      Resources      Links      

About SpeciaLink

We are working for an inclusive Canada, beginning with the early years.

SpeciaLink's Goals
Welcome to SpeciaLink's home on the world wide web. SpeciaLink's goal is to expand the quality and quantity of opportunities for inclusion in child care, recreation, education, and other community settings, to young children with special needs and their families.

What is SpeciaLink?
A helpline, clearinghouse and virtual resource and research centre, SpeciaLink provides personalized responses to specific questions, referrals and links to other organizations, and sources of help, information, and technical assistance including curriculum development and program evaluation. We share SpeciaLink fact sheets, books and videos, as well as training in your community in partnership with community organizations. We maintain an alert network of key inclusive child care advocates across the country, who can quickly identify and respond to opportunities and threats to inclusion quality and funding.

SpeciaLink's Commitment
SpeciaLink is committed to action research that is informed and shaped by practice, building from the experiences of real-world child care with its limitations and its strengths. It connects researchers and policymakers with inclusive practices on the frontline. By identifying innovative practices, testing them, and presenting them to the wider field and to policymakers, SpeciaLink helps improve practice and inform policy.

SpeciaLink's Resources Are Useful To:
Early childhood educators, inclusion facilitators, mentors, resource teachers and consultants, policymakers, early interventionists, therapists, parents, family child care providers, trainers, researchers, policy makers, social justice advocates and students.

SpeciaLink-the National Centre for Child Care Inclusion maintains a distinct separation between advertising content and editorial content. Advertisers and sponsors do not influence our selection or presentation of content anywhere on the SpeciaLink website.

Current Projects

SpeciaLink works with a number of funders to advance the inclusion of children with special support needs in Canadian early learning programs. We thank these funders for sharing our vision for of an inclusive Canada that begins in the early years.

HOLD THE DATE! SpeciaLink will host a national symposium
August 21-23, 2008 at the University of Winnipeg! Download flyer here!

SpeciaLink’s Early Childhood Inclusion
~ Applying Lessons Learned National Symposium ~

August 21-23, 2008 The University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg MB
Download the symposium program here


What are we working on in 2009?

Assessing inclusion quality in early childhood learning and child care (ELCC) in Canada (year 2)

With funding support by Canadian Council On Learning (http://www.ccl-cca.ca/CCL ) SpeciaLink is completing our project, Assessing inclusion quality in early childhood learning and child care (ELCC) in Canada with the SpeciaLink Child Care Inclusion Practices and Principles Scales. The overall purpose of project is to complete the development of a statistically sound, valid, reliable, user-friendly and well-accepted assessment tool for assessing inclusion quality in early childhood learning and child care settings. This work to establish the integrity of our inclusion rating scale is being undertaken by the University of Guelph with the collaboration of friends across Canada who have forwarded their scores sheets and classroom demographics for statistical analysis and interpretation.

The expanded tool will help to improve the assessment of early childhood learning, as it applies to children with disabilities in inclusive services— critical for go-forward funding and programming, but also for on-going evaluation and program review.

Our research report and expanded rating scales will be published before the end of 2009.


SpeciaLink: The National Centre for Child Care Inclusion
76 Cottage Road,
Sydney, NS  B1P 2C7
Phone (902) 562-1662
FAX (902) 539-9117
Contact us by email

© 2004-2010 SpeciaLink. All rights reserved.
Site maintenance by [design by Billie Carroll]