Creating a welcoming space for all children and their families in your service can have a meaningful impact on everyone in your centre and your community. The key is to ensure that every person feels included and supported.
It doesn’t really take much to celebrate diversity in your early childhood education setting, and with just a few considerations you can be well on your way to giving every child and family a sense of belonging within your community.
Quick tips to up your inclusivity
Here are five quick tips that are guaranteed to contribute to creating a happy, safe and welcoming early childhood education environment for all:
- Acknowledge a range of cultural celebrations
Christmas and Easter are always popular cultural events in early childhood education, but there are plenty more to explore too!
Speak to educators and families at your service about what events on the cultural calendar are meaningful for them and consider spending some time learning about their traditions in your centre. Family members may even be willing to come and share their traditions as well!
- Give every type of family representation
While once upon a time the only family on television was a mum, dad and two children (a boy and a girl most likely), we now acknowledge that families come in all shapes and sizes.
Try to diversify any examples of family used in your service, to give everyone representation and help children to understand and welcome everyone.
- Foster a focus on accessibility for all
In services or within families in the community, many individuals have additional needs to support accessibility. Inclusion means incorporating means of overcoming barriers for people to participate equally.
Accessibility looks different for everyone. It might mean offering quiet times more regularly or being mindful of someone’s sensory needs or preferences, or using Auslan (sign language) to support children with hearing challenges. Continually reflect on how you can improve accessibility in your service.
- Challenge stereotypes
We can only challenge preconceived ideas and stereotypes with open communication. Encourage children to openly share about differences and similarities and to ask questions.
Differences aren’t scary or something to avoid! They can help us learn and discover. After all, we all have our differences that make us unique and special.
- Use inclusive resources
Want to easily add a variety of inclusive elements into your planning and programming? Lucky for you we have an amazing offer on our newly created educational resources packs — you can get a set of four educational packs including printable resources and mp3 songs for only $35 (RRP $60). But only until Friday! Click here to get yours.
These packs cover multicultural celebrations, multicultural greetings, inclusive family trees, Auslan signs for children to learn and much more!
Visit www.bonkersbeat.com/product/special-offer to check it out.
A more inclusive early childhood education experience means a more inclusive world — the work we do with children now is contributing to a safer, happier Australia in the future.