How to Promote Diversity and InclusivityOctober 11, 2019 9:41 am
As a childcare provider, you have a responsibility to ensure your space encourages equality and represents diversity fully. It’s in these early years that children create a foundation for their knowledge of the world, upon which everything else they learn will stand.
Young children are often accepting of others regardless of aesthetic differences, so it’s important you nurture this willingness and provide your children with a space that teaches them to be inclusive of cultural and religious differences too. The best way to do this is to build diversity and inclusivity into everything you do, rather than trying to shoehorn it into practices already in place. How can you do that?
Review Your Policies
Review your policies and see if anything needs to change – it’s the adults in your employ who are guided by these policies and who will influence the children in your care at this crucial time. Ensure your policies embrace diversity and are inclusive for all, be that the children, their parents, or your staff. Include a policy that directly addresses the requirement to have an equal and diverse environment, and protects all from stereotyping and bullying.
Choose Diverse Books and Entertainment
Diverse books should not be considered a genre on your bookshelves. Instead, it should be the very foundation for how you choose to include the books on your shelves. Publishers are now focusing on bringing diverse books to young audiences, so include stories which are diverse and inclusive by nature, not just books that directly teach a lesson about inclusivity. Show your children that anyone can be the hero of their story in the media you choose.
Celebrate All Festivals Equally
For a long time, Easter and Christmas have been the two big occasions on the calendar when we organise special activities and events for the children, but there are so many more festivals on the calendar which need to be included not only for your children who come from those religions and cultures, but to educate those who aren’t from those cultures.
Make these festivals fun and interesting for the children, and while you should be sensitive toward children who belong to those communities, be careful you don’t identify them as “different” in the eyes of the other children, especially if the majority of your children come from the same background.
Include the Parents
Parents are key in ensuring children are brought up to understand the importance of their own culture and other people’s cultures. Let the parents offer you insight into their practices so you can represent them more accurately. Show children that all differences are to be respected with sensitivity from a foundational level, and you’ll create a diverse, inclusive, and supportive environment for your children.Tags: diversity, enabling environment, eyfs