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Inclusive Education Project Podcast

Jul 30, 2019

In the past, we might have associated the word, “inclusion” with “special needs” children. What about the “special needs” children? We tend to think that includes only children with developmental disabilities, but today’s focus is so much broader, and that is what Amanda and Vickie will be discussing with today’s guest, Darcie Kass. 

Please listen in, as they unpack the definition of inclusion, trending issues, and ways in which early childhood education contributes to developing “good little people” who have the skills to learn when they’re ready to enter kindergarten. 

Darcie Kass is the owner and director of “A Child’s Place Learning Center”, a private, full-inclusion center in Costa Mesa in Orange County, that has had an inclusion philosophy at its core since it opened its doors in 1978. Darcie is on the Orange County Childcare Development and Planning Council, and through that, the Co-Chair of the Orange County Inclusion Collaborative. She is also a Director/Mentor so that mentors can reach out to her to learn how to promote inclusion. She eats, sleeps, and breathes inclusivity, as it is her passion. 

Show Highlights:

  • Creating boundaries and setting the limits
  • Working with sleep and discipline issues
  • Holding children to certain expectations
  • Teaching social skills, manners, eating healthy, productivity, and confidence at an early age
  • Inclusion involves children with developmental disabilities, but also children who have incidental medical and challenging behaviors
  • Inclusion welcomes children with a diverse background: diabetes, peanut allergies (“A Child’s Place Learning Center” is not a peanut-free school, but teaches how to live with this), feeding tubes, seizures, ESL, homeless population, children who have been exposed to trauma, those with challenging behaviors, children from the LGBT community, and many other scenarios.
  • Children don’t have biases.
  • Children ask questions, but they don’t need complicated answers.
  • Focusing on social skills and not the academic 
  • Educating the directors and administrators can sometimes be a challenge
  • The joy of having a staff that is 100% on board with inclusion
  • The challenges of accepting children who have been asked to leave other centers
  • Implementing techniques and collaborating with parents to resolve the issues




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Be sure to connect with us and reach out with any questions/concerns:




IEP website

This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matters, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.


Connect with Darcie:


Inclusion Pathways - Resource for Directors and Program Administrators:


Inclusion Pathways - Resource for Teachers and Caregivers:


2nd Annual HELP Inclusion Conference!

Saturday, September 7th, 2019 at the Orange County Department of Education

8am registration - 3pm

Registration open!

Breakfast and Lunch included!

Helping Educators Learn Practical Strategies"

~Supporting children and families from all of the special populations~