World Kindness Day is coming up on November 13, 2023. While every day is a great day to be kind, this date in the calendar is a perfect opportunity for all of us in the early childhood education sector to reflect on the importance of kindness in childcare services.
Kindness is the cornerstone of creating nurturing, supportive, and inclusive environments for young children. So, to support you in elevating kindness in your service, here are some practical tips you can embed in your practices.
Lead by Example:
Kindness begins with empowering role modelling from parents, educators, and others. The children in your care will learn from your example as you demonstrate empathy, patience, and respect in your interactions with others. This includes the interactions you have with other adults too, such as fellow educators, management and parents. Use your actions to set the tone for the entire learning environment.
Help children understand and embrace the concept of empathy. There are many activities that can encourage young people to consider the feelings of others. These include storytelling, role-play, and identifying and discussing different feelings.
Create a Kindness Curriculum:
Incorporate kindness into your curriculum. By having activities that organically support a kind culture, you can effortlessly gain the benefits of kindness for every child and the world. There are some exceptional free resources including lesson plans and activities over at Kind Schools to use as part of your teaching materials.
Your childcare service should be a place where all children feel welcome and accepted. Celebrate diversity and promote an inclusive environment. Use multicultural materials and encourage discussions about different cultures and perspectives.
Acknowledge Acts of Kindness:
Recognising and rewarding acts of kindness within your childcare service can go a long way toward fostering a kind culture. Implement a system that encourages children to be kind and compassionate. This can be as simple as a “Kindness Star Chart” where children earn stars for their kind actions.
Reflect and Improve:
Regularly evaluate your childcare service’s commitment to kindness. Seek feedback from children, parents, and other educators to identify areas for improvement. Make adjustments as needed and continuously strive to elevate kindness.
On World Kindness Day and every day, educators in the early childhood education sector have a vital role in nurturing kindness in children.
As educators elevate kindness, we also contribute to the development of emotionally intelligent, compassionate, and responsible people who will carry the values of kindness throughout their lives.