There is a growing ability of early childhood professionals to identify visual impairments from a young age. If you are aware that a young child has a visual impairment, it is important to make some small adjustments to their child care in order to ensure their safety and maximise their early learning

Emphasis on aural language

Even though the child may not have a clear view of the words on the page, it is still important to read stories to them and use oral language to build literacy. It can often be a good idea to use books that have bright colours as most children that have visual impairment still have some degree of sight and bright and contrasting colours are much easier to see than lighter colours (such as delicate water colour drawings). It is a good idea to make this process as fun as possible, so include actions and changes in voice volume and tone to convey emotion. 

Use texture

Another great idea is to include texture in as many places as possible, particularly if the child may later learn braille. This ability to pick up light differences in texture is important in reading braille and can be a way to start linking the textures and words or concepts. It can also help children to feel engaged with books in a more practical way. You can also make personalised posters which include raised pictures such as making a book of different locations include 'the beach' with sand glued to the card and lighter gel textures for water. 

Check aids closely

If your child has an aid that they use such as glasses it is important to check them regularly as it is very easy for glasses to get smudgey or dirty which can make it hard for the child to see, especially if they have been practising 'self feeding' or doing messy crafts. This can be unsafe, particularly if the child is starting to practise physical skills such as walking. Make a point to check aids regularly so that your child has the ability to explore and interact with their environment.

There are a range of resources for early learning that can help children with visual impairments to learn while they are in child care. If you have a child with visual impairment who needs external child care it is a good idea to find a high quality child care centre with experience in caring for children with visual impairments.