Hello everyone, welcome to our May newsletter! As always, we provide an overview of what is happening within our childcare community. This month we will focus on promoting inclusivity and diversity in a childcare setting.
Topic of the month - Inclusivity and Diversity in a Childcare Setting
As a society, we strive to promote inclusivity and diversity in all aspects of life, and childcare is no exception. Every child deserves to feel welcomed, valued, and respected, regardless of their background. As caregivers and educators, it is our responsibility to create inclusive and diverse environments where children of all backgrounds can thrive.
Inclusivity and diversity go hand in hand, and environments that have these characteristics are those which recognise and celebrate differences; where different cultural and ethnic backgrounds have ample representation.
Growing up and being educated in these environments teaches young children a lot about how to empathise with others, understand, and respect where they come from. It also helps children, regardless of their background, to gain a positive self-image and feel they belong.
Here are a few ways to promote inclusivity and diversity in your classroom:
Starting with the staff and children in your care, you can have a day or week highlighting their own culture; it can be shared through a song, dance, story, food, greeting, or cultural practice.
Language can be a barrier for children whose first language isn’t English. To prevent this and provide support, a simple morning greeting in their native language can promote inclusivity especially in young children whose first language may not be English. Early childhood educators can also use visual aids, gestures, and even try to mix languages to make children feel included and seen in activities and conversations.
Having a diverse staff coming from different cultural backgrounds can be enriching to a centre. They are your best resource persons when it comes to promoting cultural diversity and inclusivity. Have them include their favourite childhood toy, poem, story, game, song, or food in the classrooms. You can also have sharing sessions on how child rearing and practices are done in their culture; gleaning insights and adapting best practices that boost a child’s development.
Activities to Promote Diversity and Inclusion
One of the best ways to promote cultural diversity and appreciation, not to mention inclusivity, is by sharing cultural food with everyone. Food is always a great way to bond over and appreciate the uniqueness of each culture while also finding points of similarity.
By sharing food that is commonly eaten in one’s culture, we discover how they cook their food, the ingredients that speak about where they come from, and the tastes that open up a whole new world of gastronomical experience.
Cultural norms, mores, and practices are usually passed down from generation to generation through the stories that elders routinely tell their children. In stories, we find symbols and icons that are commemorative of their collective memory. It’s also a great way to see the world from a different cultural perspective.
From folk tales, fairy tales, fables, myths, poems and even rhymes, we get a sense of how various cultures try to impart wisdom and knowledge to the younger generation. It also usually contains great important lessons on values such as honesty, integrity, and responsibility among others.
There is a unique advantage to having a diverse and inclusive society. Raising children socially aware and accepting of the cultural diversity within their communities and being socially inclusive can do wonders for the progress of our society. Early childhood educators have an important role to play in promoting acceptance, empathy, and respect for one another.
0-12 month development
The Five Stages Of Self-Awareness Explain What Babies See In The Mirror
Author: Joshua A. Krisch
Self-awareness in babies comes in levels. Starting from seeing someone in the mirror to finally recognising their reflection in the mirror, babies go through five stages for self-awareness.
Learn more about the five stages of self-awareness for babies through mirror tests here.
1-2 year development
Gut bacteria in babies may predict type 1 diabetes in later life, study finds
Author: Robin McKie
Scientists have found out that gut bacteria in a one-year old is a good predictor of type 1 diabetes. The presence of these microbial biomarkers means that prevention and encouraging a healthier gut microbiome can occur earlier, thus preventing a serious life-debilitating diabetes later in life.
Learn more about the research and other key findings here.
2-3 year development
Can you teach toddlers table manners?
Author: Dr Harvey Karp
As your child starts to become a more independent eater, is it possible to start teaching them table manners at their age? In this article, Dr Karp has some tips on how to gently orient your toddler into better toddler table manners.
Drawing pictures is great for children’s development – here’s how parents can help
Authors: Richard Jolley and Sarah Rose
Drawing may seem to be a filler activity for when the weather is inhospitable to outdoor activities. However, researchers have found that it can be a rewarding experience not only for children but also for parents, giving parents a great opportunity to bond with their children and glean insights into their thoughts and feelings.
Learn more about how you as a parent can make the best out of a drawing activity with your child here.
4-5 year development
Milestone developments at four years old help children tell lies, play hide-and-seek and read maps
Author: Martin Doherty
Forget about the terrible twos and threes, it’s at age four when your child suddenly becomes ever more precocious, now capable of telling believable little fibs and making much more sense of their world in spatial terms. In this article, learn how big of a development children undergo once they turn four.
Learn more about the surprising things 4-year olds become capable of here.
Growing a Grinch Heart Science Experiment
In this chemistry experiment, let children measure and exercise their fine motor skills as they prepare the vinegar and baking soda into the materials. While this may be a tricky experiment, it only makes the experiment more varied and fun to try.
Get children to design their own boats using aluminium foil and see which ones get to stay afloat and which ones sink! In this experiment, show how engineering and physics (buoyancy) play roles in what makes boats float!
Using a little bit of chemistry magic, help children practise their writing skills using invisible ink! Using an acid like lemon, vinegar, or even orange juice for ink, it’ll counteract with oxygen and once it dries, the message is revealed against a light source. This activity develops children’s fine motor skills while also imparting basic chemistry principles.
Get instructions on how to write invisible messages here.
How to Make Fizzy Sherbet
This colourful fizzy recipe will have your children giggling and ticklish after tasting their own sherbet creations! This 3-ingredient sherbet recipe will let kids measure and mix, harnessing their numbers’ knowledge, and fine motor skills. An adult may need to take over for thorough mixing but tasting will be a great taste sensory experiment and experience for the little ones.