Posted on 01/21/2014 at 07:54 AM by Global Reach
As early childhood staff begin building relationships with their children and families, they begin by creating environments that welcome diversity and support children’s connections to their families and communities. Each early childhood program builds relationships by: actively involving families in the early learning program, help all families realize the cognitive advantages of a child knowing more than one language,
and provide them with strategies to support, maintain, and preserve home language learning, and convince families that their home’s cultural values and norms are honored.
When an early childhood program uses the above elements in their work with children and families, the outcomes for children in all areas of development are supported. It is important to show that the practices in home and school should compliment each other as another means to support children’s development.
In order for any program to be inclusive of all children and their families, the process needs to begin with professional development experiences for all staff. The professional development focus should emphasize individual awareness of “personal culture” and how that impacts understanding the culture of others. It is also beneficial when staff are recruited who are trained in languages other than English so the interactions and communications with children and families have stronger connections to the program.
Children benefit tremendously when the curriculum and assessment systems take into consideration a child’s ability and create multiple nonverbal ways to understand actual interests, knowledge and skills. It is also beneficial to the assessment process that families and their reflections on a child’s development are included in the data gathered as decisions about education are being made.
(Information taken from Where We Stand on Responding to Linguistic and Cultural Diversity, from NAEYC Position Statements on National Association for Education of Young Children website.)