1. Understand the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion.
It is important for children to be in a setting which demonstrates diversity, equality of opportunity and inclusion, this is so that it gives them the opportunity to make progress in all elements of development, in an emotionally secure and supportive environment. When working with children it is essential to practice these principles because without them children’s life decisions could be jeopardised.
1.1 Explain what is meant by:
Diversity means accepting and respecting that each individual is unique and understanding every individual’s differences. These differences can be gender, race sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, physical abilities and religious beliefs.
Equality means equal rights for everyone regardless of their differences and Identities. Equality represents the fact everyone should be treated the same.
Inclusion is when everyone has the equal right to access any services. In a child work force setting children of all physical emotional, and academic abilities are cared for in the same environment.
1.2 Describe the potential effects of discrimination
Discrimination is when someone is being treated unfairly based on their disability, gender, race or religion. It could also mean being treated less favourable than someone else in the same situation.
The potential effects of discrimination can be different for different people. The effects could be emotional, physical or a combination of both. For example if a child has ADHD, then a practitioner could feel inclined to exclude the child from the group activity because they feel the child is causing trouble. By doing this it could cause the child to feel left out and upset, this is also a form of bullying. This is why it important to beware of your actions when you are around children, you never know what affect you could have on them. Down below is a few more ways in which discrimination can affect children such as, they could feel:
All these elements of discrimination can affect the way a child perceives things in the future. No child well-being and learning opportunities should be limited due to the negative impact of prejudices and discrimination. This is why it is so crucial that you base your work on anti-discriminatory practice.
(Penny Tassoni, Kate Beith, Kath Bulman, Sue Griffin (2010) ”children & young people’s workforce, early learning ; children, pg. 22)
1.3 Explain how inclusive practice promotes equality and supports diversity
Inclusive is a practice which takes place to ensure that people are not excluded or isolated. It also helps support diversity by accepting and welcoming people’s differences and promoting equality by equal opportunities for all. Furthermore inclusive practice includes having an understanding of the impact that discrimination, inequality and social exclusion can have on an individual. By coming to terms with this it will allow you to ensure that the appropriate personalised care and support is exchanged. This can help the individual develop self-respect and self- worth and also to respect others around them and their unique differences. This is why it is so important that children are in an environment which promotes these types of practices so that when they grow up they won’t go around being judgemental towards others or prejudice.
2. Be able to work in an inclusive way
In order to work in an inclusive way, organisations must take into consideration that both the legal practices of the state and also the policy practices of a work setting. These practices help support the organisation in interacting with families in a will respectful way.
2.1 Explain how legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and discrimination apply to your own work role.
There are a number of legislations that are in place to help promote equality, diversity and to reduce discrimination such as:
• The disability discrimination act 2005
• The special educational needs and disability act 2001
• children act 1989 and 2004
• racial regulations 2000
• care act standards act 2000
• Equality act 2006
• Sexual discrimination act 1975
• Employment equality regulations 2003
The purpose of these legislations are to promote equality of opportunity for all regardless of their race, sexuality, age, gender or disabilities. Having these legislation in order shape the way in which a nursery provides and organises their services and the way a practitioner approaches their practices. If these legislations and standards are obeyed to then this ensures all the service users are treated with the same level of care and no special treatment is given to any individual. It is important to remember that although legislations are there to protect people, it doesn’t change people attitudes. This means that good practices should ensure that practitioners are regularly evaluated on their work ethic, they should also receive appropriate support and training in this area.
2.2 Show interaction with individuals that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences.
It is important that as a nursery practitioner that you respect each child and their families beliefs and life style. For example Christmas time is a holiday which is worldly celebrated but not everyone you come into contact will celebrate it, this could be due to religious beliefs. As practitioner you must do whatever you can to make children and their families feel comfortable and happy in a situation like this. If a child does not celebrate any public holiday then it is important that you don’t false them to participate with the holiday theme. In order to make sure that the child does not feel left out or excluded for the activity taking place then you should make it relevant to them, for example there are other holidays in which different religions celebrate such as Eid, Hanukkah etc. so it’s up to incorporate that into the lesson so that the child doesn’t feel left out. You could also speak to the child’s parent or carer to get a better understanding of their religion and beliefs this could give you more topics to discuss, it could also create a better relationship between the practitioner, the child and their families, by doing this it could lead to making them a lot more comfortable with the care their children will be receiving.
3. Be able to promote diversity, equality and inclusion
Whilst working with children and families it is important that the practice in which you work at should be inclusive, promote equality and encourage positive attitudes towards diversity. Also a role of a practitioner is to inspire others to ensure children’s rights to have access to equality of opportunity in an inclusive environment in which diversity is seen in positive ways.
3.1 Demonstrate actions that model inclusive practice.
As a practitioner it is important that you help encourage children to have positive attitudes towards other children and people who may be different from them, this is so that children will be swayed from developing a negative and prejudiced views. In order to achieve this you can:
• Creating an environment, both physical and emotional, where everyone is invited to participate as much as they want to and everyone is treated with respect and kindness.
• Giving children the freedom to explore their ideas about disabilities through play and conversation, while guiding them to be aware and respectful of the feelings and perspective of child who have special needs. Practitioners should also encourage them to be respectful to people that came from different cultural backgrounds to them, that come from different families and people who look and sound different from them.
Research has shown that nurseries that demonstrate inclusiveness throughout their practices have an amazing opportunity to help shape children’s attitudes and behaviour towards people different to them e.g. disabled. Research has also shown that children who have repeated experiences with children with disabilities develop a much better understanding and acceptance that usually aren’t there in children who haven’t had that exposure. Shaping children’s attitudes while they are young is a tremendous responsibility and privilege that can have long-lasting effects.
3.2 Demonstrate how to support others to promote, equality and rights.
You could support others to promote equality and rights by keeping them informed about it, for example they could get information for a hand booklets. The hand booklets could be handed out to staff, clients, and client’s family members so that they could all work together to help promote equality. An organisation should provide training for their staff so that they can put into practices the knowledge they have learned into their daily work. Also most companies provide their staff with employee handbooks that include polices, code of conduct and code of practice, this could also help them understand equality more and promote it by the way they use it whilst working.
3.3 Describe how to challenge discrimination in a way that promotes change.
If a case of discrimination accrues whilst being at work it is important that the situation is reported to a senior member of staff properly. This is so that the insisted can be dealt with appropriately and quickly.
In other situations where discrimination could be challenged, is if you come across or over hear someone making discriminatory comment. Then they could possible challenged in calm and professionally way by explaining to them what they are saying is unacceptable and explain why others may be offended by their words. If an individual was speaking inappropriately, it could be dealt with by issuing a disciplinary. Further training on equality and diversity could be issued to educate them and widen their views on equality, diversity and inclusion.