Multicultural Policy (AQ5)

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Woodlands - Multicultural Policy 

 

About this policy

Australia is a vibrant, multicultural country. We are home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures - as well as people who identify with more than 270 ancestries. This cultural diversity is central to our national identity.

It is important that young children in Australia today grow up with an appreciation and respect for the diversity of cultures, races, and ethnicities that surround them.

Early childhood education provides an ideal setting for children to learn about different cultures and form friendships with people from a wide range of backgrounds.

By promoting an understanding of difference and diversity, early childhood educators can assist children and their families to build positive relationships with their local communities.

In doing this, educators are fulfilling the requirements under the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) to cultivate ‘respect for diversity’ and exercise ‘cultural competency’

 

National Quality Standard (NQS)

Quality Area 1: Educational program and practice 

1.1.1

Approved learning framework 

Curriculum decision-making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners, and effectiveness as communicators.

1.1.2

Child-centred  

Each child’s current knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities, and interests are the foundation of the program.

1.1.3

Program learning opportunities 

All aspects of the program, including routines, are organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning

1.2.2

Responsive teaching and scaffolding 

Educators respond to children’s ideas and play and extend children’s learning through open-ended questions, interactions and feedback.

1.2.3

Child-directed learning 

Each child's agency is promoted, enabling them to make choices and decisions that influence events and their world

 

Quality Area 3: Physical Environment  

3.2

Use 

The service environment is inclusive, promotes competence and supports exploration and play-based learning 

3.2.1

Inclusive environment 

Outdoor and indoor spaces are organised and adapted to support every child's participation and to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments.

 

Quality Area 5: Relationships with children   

5.1

Relationships between educators and children

Respectful and equitable relationships are maintained with each child.

5.1.1

Positive educator to child interactions

Responsive and meaningful interactions build trusting relationships that engage and support each child to feel secure, confident, and included.

5.1.2

Dignity and rights of the child

The dignity and rights of every child are maintained.

 

Quality Area 6: Collaborative partnership with families  

6.1

Supportive relationships with families 

Respectful relationships with families are developed and maintained and families are supported in their parenting role.

6.1.1

Engagement with the service 

Families are supported from enrolment to be involved in the service and contribute to service decisions.

6.1.3

Families are supported 

Current information is available to families about the service and relevant community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.

6.2

Collaborative partnerships

Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning, and wellbeing.

6.2.2

Access and participation 

Effective partnerships support children's access, inclusion, and participation in the program.

6.2.3

Community engagement 

The service builds relationships and engages with its community

 

National Regulations

Children (Education and Care Services) National Law NSW 

155

Interactions with children 

156

Relationships in groups 

 

Related Policies      

Education Curriculum and Learning Policy

National Quality Framework Policy

Relationships With Children Policy

Celebrations Policy

Interactions with Children, Families & Staff Policy

 

Purpose

All children have a right to feel accepted and respected. This is a principle set out in the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international human rights treaty on the rights of children. 

The Convention emphasises the importance of children developing connections to culture and community as a means of fostering a strong sense of personal identity and belonging. This idea is reflected in the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standard.

 By teaching respect for cultural diversity, educators will assist children to:

  • learn about their cultural background and develop a strong sense of self-identity
  • learn about and appreciate cultures and traditions other than their own
  • learn to enjoy and respect differences and recognise universal characteristics we all share
  • learn about racial prejudice and understand why it should be challenged.

 

Scope

This policy applies to children, families, staff, management, and visitors of the Service.

 

Implementation

 Leader of Teaching and Learning will:

  • Actively seek information from children, families and the community, about their cultural traditions, customs and beliefs, and use this information to provide children with a variety of experiences that will enrich the environment within the centre.
  • Work in partnership with families to provide care that meets the child’s needs and is consistent with the family’s culture, beliefs, and child care practices. Specific requests will be honored where practical to demonstrate respect and ensure continuity of care of the child.
  • Obtain and use resources that reflect the diversity of children, families, and the community and increase awareness and appreciation of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multicultural heritage.
  • Be sensitive and attentive to all children, respect their backgrounds, unique qualities and abilities, will ensure that the centre’s environment reflects the lives of the children and families using the centre, and the cultural diversity of the broader community, and ensure children’s individual needs are accommodated at the centre.
  • Children with special needs will be provided with support so they can be included as equals within the centre. This may require the assistance of social, ethnic, or special needs services which the Centre will access in collaboration with the child’s family, and/or adapting the environment, routines, and/or educator arrangements in order to facilitate inclusion.
  • Aim to recruit educators and staff from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds that reflect the cultural diversity of the community wherever possible.
  • Ensure all educators and staff are fully oriented to the Centre’s Staff Code of Conduct and the ECA Code of Ethics (2006).
  • Will attend professional development that builds awareness of their own cultural beliefs and values, increases their cultural competence, and helps them to challenge discrimination and prejudice.
  • The centre will access the pool of bicultural support workers to assist communication with families from diverse cultural backgrounds and/or telephone translation services when required and provide brochures/information on aspects of the centre in languages that are spoken in the local community.
  • The centre will access additional support, assistance and resources for children with additional needs including children from diverse cultural backgrounds, children with high ongoing support needs (including disabilities), and children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
  • Talk to the relevant child’s parents/guardians about any concerns and offer the family links to other support services within the community such as Inclusion Support Agencies; Community Health Services etc.
  • Work with families, inclusion support agencies and other specialists working with the child to develop individual support plans for children with additional needs.

 

Educators will:

  • Treat all children equitably and encourage them to treat each other with respect and fairness.
  • Role model appropriate ways to challenge discrimination and prejudice, and actively promote inclusive behaviours in children.
  • Never be singled out, or made to feel inferior to or better than others. Educators and children will discuss incidents of bias or prejudice in children’s play or relationships with each other, to help children to understand and find strategies to counteract these behaviours.
  • Ensure parents/guardians are consulted in the development of holistic programs that are responsive to children’s lives, interests, and learning styles, and reflect children’s family, culture, and community.
  • Create opportunities as an integral part of their daily programs for children to learn about, develop respect for, and celebrate the diversity that exists in the centre and in the broader community by:
    • encouraging all families, children and other educators to share their experiences, skills, cultures and beliefs;
    • inviting community members to the centre to share their stories, songs, experiences, skills, cultures and beliefs;
    • Access and use a range of resources (including multi-cultural and multi-lingual resources) that reflect the diversity of children and families in the centre and in the broader community.

Review  

Policy Reviewed 

Modifications

Next Review Date 

January 2020

Branding and formatting adjusted 

Persons responsible amended to reflect service practices- not pertinent to policy delivery

Related Policy links added

March 2020

 

 

 

Multi-Cultural Resources  

For further information relating to teaching about cultural diversity and responding to prejudice in early childhood education, consider the following recommended resources and materials:

 

Children’s picture books

Alphabet Kids, The Alphabet Kids Book Series.

Derolf, Shane, The Crayon Box that Talked (Random House Childrens Books, 1998).

Dunstan, Kylie, Same, but a Little Bit Diff’rent (Windy Hollow Books, 2012).

Fogorty, Renee, Fair Skin, Black Fella (Magabala Books, 2010).

Formby, Caroline, Come And Eat With Us (Childs Play, 1995).

Fox, Mem and Leslie Staub, Whoever You Are (Reading Rainbow Books, 2006).

Fox, Mem and Helen Oxenbury, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes (Penguin Australia, 2009).

Gainer Cindy and Miki Sakamoto, I’m Like You, You’re Like Me (Free Spirit Publishing, 2011).

Global Kids Oz, Multicultural Books.

Harris, Robie H, and Nadine Bernard Westcott, Who’s in my family? All About Our Families (Candlewick Press, 2012).

Katz, Karen, The Colors of Us (Square Fish, 2002).

Kelly Paul, Kev Carmody and Peter Hudson, From Little Things, Big Things Grow - Songbook (One Day Hill, 2011).

Lionni, Leo, Little Blue and Little Yellow (Harper Collins Publishers, 1995).

Marsden, John and Shaun Tan, The Rabbits (Hachette Australia, 2010).

Pinkwater Daniel, and D. Manus Pinkwater, The Big Orange Splot (Scholastic, 1993).

Richardson, Ella and Lydia Monks, The Bear and the Bees (Pan Macmillan, 2012).

Roach, Archie, Ruby Hunter and Peter Hudson, Took the Children Away - Songbook (One Day Hill, 2010).

Sarzin, Lisa Miranda, Stories for Simon (Trafalgar Square Books, 2015).

Thompson, Michael, The Other Bears (Freemantle Press, 2010).

Tyler, Michael and David Lee Csicsko, The Skin You Live In (Chicago Children’s Museum, 2005).

Valent Jacalyn, Stinky the Bulldog (Authorhouse, 2005).

 

Children’s videos

Fun English, Hello To All The Children Of The World (2014).

Fun English, We All Sing In The Same Voice (2014).

Little Sikhs, Being Different is Beautiful (2015).

Master Communications, If the World Were a Village of 100 People: A Story About the World’s People (2009).

Sesame Street, I Love My Hair (2010).

Sesame Street, Color of Me Song (2014).

 

Language support and translating and interpreting services

Australian Government, Department of Social Services, Multicultural Language Services Guidelines (2013).

Australian Government, Department of Social Services, Help with English (2015).

AUSIT (Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators), Frequently Asked Questions for the Public.

Government of South Australia, Interpreting and Translating Centre.

National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters, Online Directory, (2012).

New South Wales Government, Multicultural NSW, Interpreting and Translation.

Northern Territory Government, Aboriginal Interpreter Service.

Northern Territory Government, Interpreting and Translating Service NT.

TIS (Translating and Interpreting Service) National, Help using TIS National services.

Victorian Government, Department of Education and Training, Early Childhood Interpreter Service (2014).

Victorian Government, Department of Education and Training, English as an Additional Language.

Victorian Government, Department of Education and Training, No English – Don’t Panic, (2014).

Victorian Interpreting and Translating Service, About VITS.

Western Australian Government, Department of Education, Interpreting and Translation Services (2014).

 

Useful websites and resources/Building cultural competency

Australian Government, Department of Social Services, Calendar of Cultural and Religious Dates.

Australian Government, Department of Social Services, Harmony Day - Early Childhood.

Child Australia, Cultural Connections Booklet - Professional Support Coordinator (2012).

Community Child Care Victoria, Exploring Celebrations in Children’s Services - Self-Guided Learning Package (2011).

Early Childhood Australia, Understanding cultural competence, EYLF Professional Learning Project – Newsletter No. 7, (2011).

Early Childhood Australia, Becoming culturally competent, NQS Professional Learning Project – Newsletter No. 65, (2013).

Ethnic Community Services Co-operative, Resources for early childhood services.

Ethnic Community Services Co-operative, Bicultural Support Resources.

Ethnic Community Services Co-operative, Training and Professional Development.

Global Kids Oz, Early Learning Resources.

Kids Helpline, Celebrating our Cultural Differences: An overview for parents

KidsMatter, Why culture matters for children’s development and wellbeing.

PBS Learning Media, Arthur’s World Neighborhood.

Raise Learning, Promoting Diversity, Equity and Cultural Competence in the Early Years, (2012).

National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC), Genuine Celebrations: Including cultural experiences in the program, Putting Children First, Issue 33 (March 2010), 17 – 19.

National Quality Standard Professional Learning Program, Cultural competency (2012).

New South Wales Government, Department of Education and Communities, Prejudice. No way! (2012).

Oxfam (UK), Your World, My World.

Shipp, Cara, 'Bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into the classroom: how and why' (2013) Literacy Learning: the Middle Years 21(3).

Southern Poverty Law Centre, Teaching Tolerance - Classroom Resources.

Together For Humanity, For Primary School Teachers.

Understanding Prejudice, Tips for Elementary School Teachers.

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories

Australian Human Rights Commission, Bringing them home: The ‘Stolen Children’ report (Australian Human Rights Commission, 1997).

Early Childhood Australia, Building bridges: Literacy development in young Indigenous children.

Magabala Books, Children’s Picture Books.

NAIDOC, About NAIDOC Week.

National Quality Standard Professional Learning Program, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in early childhood education and care.

National Quality Standard Professional Learning Program, Exploring Reconciliation in early childhood practice (2013).

Ngroo, Our Programs.

Reconciliation Australia, Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning.

SNAICC (Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care), National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.

SNAICC (Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care), Tools and Resources.

 

Additional reading on belonging and inclusion 

Connolly, P, Fairplay: Talking With Children About Prejudice and Discrimination, (Save the Children and Barnardo’s, Northern Ireland, 2002).

Dau, Elizabeth (ed.), The Anti-Bias Approach in Early Childhood, (Pearson Education Australia, 2001).

Derman-Sparks, Louise and Julie Olsen Edwards, Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves, (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2010).

Dolby, R, Secure Transitions: Supporting children to feel secure, confident and included, (Early Childhood Australia, 2013).

Early Childhood Australia, Supporting young children’s rights statement of intent (2015 – 2018) (Early Childhood Australia, 2015).

Gibbs, Leanne, Fair play - anti bias in action, (Lady Gowrie Child Centre, 1997).

Guigni, Miriam, Exploring Multiculturalism, Anti-Bias and Social Justice In Children’s Services (Children’s Services Central, 2015).

Guigni, Miriam, Rethinking Images of Inclusion: A picture book for children’s services, (ACT Professional Support Coordinator,).

Hood, M, Partnerships: Working together in early childhood settings, (Early Childhood Australia, 2012).

Linke, P, Everyday learning about feelings. (Early Childhood Australia, 2011).

Olsen Edwards, Julie and Louise Derman-Sparkes, Anti Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2012).

Richardson, C, Belonging: At the heart of relating to others. (Early Childhood Australia, 2015).

Robinson, K and C Jones Diaz, Diversity and Difference in Early Childhood Education: Issues for theory and practice, (Open University Press, 2006).

Stonehouse, A. and A Kennedy, Learning positive behaviour through educator – child relationships, (Early Childhood Australia, 2013).

 

Additional reading on the impacts of racism and discrimination

Ferdinand, A, Y Paradies and M Kelaher, Mental Health Impacts of Racial Discrimination in Victorian Aboriginal Communities: The Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity (LEAD) Experiences of Racism Survey, (The Lowitja Institute, 2012).

Fethi Mansouri et al, The impact of racism upon the health and wellbeing of young Australians, (The Foundation for Young Australians, Melbourne, 2009).

N Priest et al, ‘A systematic review of studies examining the relationship between reported racism and health and wellbeing for children and young people’ (2013), 95, Social Science & Medicine.

Nelson, Jacqueline, Kevin Dunn and Yin Paradies, ‘Australian racism and anti-racism: links to morbidity and belonging’ in Fethi Mansouri and Michele Lobo (eds), Migration, citizenship and intercultural relations: looking through the lens of social inclusion? (Ashgate, 2011).

Paradies, Yin, ‘A systematic review of empirical research on self-reported racism and health’ (2006) 35(4) International Journal of Epidemiology.

VicHealth, Mental health impacts of racial discrimination in Victorian culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Experiences of Racism survey: a summary, (Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, 2012).

VicHealth, Racism and its links to the health of children and young people: Research highlights (Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, 2013).

 

Sources 

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘Australia’s Cultural and Linguistic Diversity’, Year Book Australia - 2009–10 (2010), Cat no. 1301.0, ABS Canberra.

2 Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace, Being, Belonging and Becoming: the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009), 13, 16.

3 Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace, Being, Belonging and Becoming: the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009), 13.

4 Convention on the Rights of the Child, opened for signature 20 November 1989, 1577 UNTS 3 (entered into force 2 September 1990).

5 United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No 17: on the right of the child to rest, leisure, play, recreational activities, cultural life and the arts (Article 31), 62nd sess, UN DOC CRC/C/GC/17 (17 April 2013) 5 [11].

6 Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace, Being, Belonging and Becoming: the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009), 13; Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority. ‘Quality Area 1 - Educational program and practice’, The National Quality Standard (2012).

7 Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace, Educators’ Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2010) 21-22.

8 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), question 9.

9 Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace, Being, Belonging and Becoming: the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009), 16.

10 Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace, Being, Belonging and Becoming: the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009), 16.

11 Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace, Educators’ Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2010) 24.

12 United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No 17: on the right of the child to rest, leisure, play, recreational activities, cultural life and the arts (Article 31), 62nd sess, UN DOC CRC/C/GC/17 (17 April 2013) 5 [12].

13 Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace, Being, Belonging and Becoming: the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009), 11.

14 Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace, Being, Belonging and Becoming: the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009), 12; Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority. ‘Quality Area 6 - Collaborative partnerships with families and communities’, The National Quality Standard (2012).

15 Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘The “Average” Australian’, Australian Social Trends (April 2013), Cat no. 4102.0, ABS Canberra; Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘Cultural Diversity in Australia - Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census’, Australian Social Trends (June 2012), Cat no. 2071.0, ABS Canberra.

16 There is evidence to show that bilingualism has positive benefits on cognitive and executive functioning, academic performance and both individual and community socioeconomic outcomes. Studies suggest that those who speak more than one language perform better at a range of functions including retaining information, problem solving and multitasking.

See for example: Ellen Bialystok, Fergus I.M. Craik and Gigi Luk, ‘Bilingualism: Consequences for Mind and Brain’ (2012) 16(4) Trends in Cognitive Sciences 240; Olusola O.Adesope, Tracy Lavin, Terri Thompson and Charles Ungerleider, ‘A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Cognitive Correlates of Bilingualism’ (2010) 80(2) Review of Educational Research 207-245; Rubén G. Rumbaut, ‘English Plus: Exploring the Socioeconomic Benefits of Bilingualism in Southern California’ in R.M. Callahan and P.C Gándara (eds) The Bilingual Advantage: Language, Literacy, and the Labor Market. Multilingual Matters (Clevedon, UK, 2014).

17 Australian Government, Department of Education and Training, Inclusion Support Programme Guidelines (2015) 6, 41.

18 Convention on the Rights of the Child, opened for signature 20 November 1989, 1577 UNTS 3 (entered into force 2 September 1990) Article 2.

19 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), question 9.

20 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), survey respondent 31, question 10.

21 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), question 11.

22 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), survey respondent 99, question 12.

23 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), question 11.

24 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), survey respondent 104, question 12.

25 Yin Paradies, ‘A systematic review of empirical research on self-reported racism and health’ (2006) 35(4) International Journal of Epidemiology 888; Jacqueline Nelson, Kevin Dunn and Yin Paradies, ‘Australian racism and anti-racism: links to morbidity and belonging’ in Fethi Mansouri and Michele Lobo (eds), Migration, citizenship and intercultural relations: looking through the lens of social inclusion? (Ashgate, UK, 2011); A Ferdinand, Y Paradies and M Kelaher, Mental Health Impacts of Racial Discrimination in Victorian Aboriginal Communities: The Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity (LEAD) Experiences of Racism Survey, (The Lowitja Institute, Melbourne, 2012); VicHealth, Mental health impacts of racial discrimination in Victorian culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Experiences of Racism survey: a summary, (Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Carlton, 2012); N Priest et al, ‘A systematic review of studies examining the relationship between reported racism and health and wellbeing for children and young people’ (2013), 95, Social Science & Medicine 115.

26 N Priest et al, ‘A systematic review of studies examining the relationship between reported racism and health and wellbeing for children and young people’ (2013) 95, Social Science & Medicine 115; Fethi Mansouri et al, The impact of racism upon the health and wellbeing of young Australians (The Foundation for Young Australians, Melbourne, 2009)13-19.

27 VicHealth, Racism and its links to the health of children and young people: Research highlights (Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Carlton, 2013).

28 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), survey respondent 188, question 12.

29 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), survey respondent 277, question 12.

30 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), question 11.

31 Australian Human Rights Commission, Early Childhood Educators survey: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Prejudice in Early Childhood (2015), survey respondent 372, question 12.





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