Reconciliation Week can be a very scary topic for many educators to explore as we are all very conscious that we don't want to offend or show disrespect in any way.
With this in mind I wanted to give some thoughts on Cultural Inclusivity and the important role it plays in childcare.
Inclusion is the practice of including all children in early learning regardless of their differences.
A culturally inclusive practice lays the foundation for participation by every child. An inclusive curriculum considers children’s differences when making decisions about their participation.
This week provides a range of opportunities for children and families to celebrate differences.
Educators show their respect for diversity by celebrating those differences. By encouraging families to participate in cultural activities and programs, it strengthens children’s self-identity and promotes an inclusive practice in childcare.
And there are many ways Educators inspire cultural diversity. It starts by recognising our own culture, the diverse cultures of our families and Australia’s indigenous culture.
• Respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture as a source of strength to children, families and communities
• Recognising the continuing impact of the history and legacies of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities today
• Recognising the strengths, resilience and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
• Recognising the importance of the wider family network in parenting children in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and other related cultural differences in child rearing practices compared to non-Indigenous communities
• Committing to informed and meaningful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement in the design, development and delivery of curriculums
• Honouring the histories, cultures, languages, traditions, child rearing practices and lifestyle choices of families.
• Recognising that diversity contributes to the richness of our society and provides a valid evidence base about ways of knowing.
• Providing opportunities to learn about similarities and differences, and about interdependence and how we can learn to live together.
Children notice differences in appearance and behaviours from a young age. Their experiences in early education and care, with families and in the community creates opportunities to develop their self-identity.
There is no better opportunity than now to encourage respectful and responsive relationships with others.