According to The Salamanca Statement (1994) schools should accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other condition. Inclusion from the daycare s point of view means that a child should go to the same kindergarten regardless of any need for special support. Learning, play and other activities should happen in small groups. In order to reach the goal of inclusion we need specific resources.
This study attempted to investigate what kinds of educational resources preschools have for teaching children with special needs in Finland, and how the teachers evaluate the current situation. The intention was to study five different resource areas; people/interaction, the learning environment, time, knowledge and materials/equipments/tools.
A qualitative approach using case studies was used to explore, describe and interpret the phenomenon. Observation and interviews were used as methods. The study was conducted in three preschool groups where the children with special needs and the teachers were observed. In addition to that the teachers were interviewed.
The results showed that some resources are adequate for supporting children with special needs in preschools in Finland. However, there is lack of some resources, for instance personnel and time. A surprising fact was that the different grownups did not always treat the child the same way. However, all teachers seemed to be enthusiastic about their work.
Interesting topics for future research would be the parents thoughts and ideas. It would be also important to study how the children with special needs think about getting support.