What is a Dual Placement?
Since the funding streams for early childhood classrooms and Pre-K classrooms only serve children eligible for those programs, many times children find themselves in two or more placements during a typical day. For example, a child eligible for special education services and at-risk services may begin their day at a local childcare center, be transported to an early childhood classroom in the morning, attend a Pre-K program in the afternoon, and finish the day back at the local childcare center.
Proper coordination and communication is imperative to make this type of a placement successful.
How to Support Dual Placement
The key to a successful dual placement arrangement is making sure the environments are consistent in the way they interact with your child and that there is sufficient communication between the placements.
- From your child's perspective, ensure there are similar expectations and rules in all environments.
- Help to make sure the supports and strategies being used with your child are consistent across settings.
- Be certain to communicate similar information to all placements about changes in your child's needs or schedule.
- Make sure that there is sufficient time for teacher/professional collaboration and consultation. Be creative in finding this time. You might offer to bring lunch once a month to facilitate a collaborative meeting or offer to help with after- school tasks to free up a teacher's time to meet.
- Teachers and paraprofessionals, through consultation with the appropriate therapists, can learn to provide many direct services to children with special needs. This transfer of knowledge will likely help both your child as well as other children in the classroom.
- Facilitate communication between the various staff members involved with your child. Ensure that staff concerns are addressed promptly and effectively.