The biggest ones are generally prejudice, culture and upbringing and religious beliefs. Prejudice is ‘a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or personal experience’ thus creating barriers to recognizing equality of rights for all. Cultural barriers can prevent, for example, consideration of spiritual, relational or dietary needs that do not conform to traditional expectations. Religious belief, where different religious beliefs are not taken into account and minorities are marginalized and not acknowledged. Other significant barriers could be structural, institutional and personal: Structural, where circumstances create or result in barriers — for example in access to a ’good education’ adequate housing, sufficient income to meet basic needs.
Institutional, where policies, processes, practices sustain an organizational or service culture that excludes certain people or groups. We can promote equality and diversity by the following: Treating all staffs and children fairly Creating an inclusive culture for all staff and children.
>Ensuring equal access to opportunities to enable children to fully participate in the learning process Enabling all staffs and children to develop to their full potential Equipping staff and children with skills to challenge inequality and discrimination in their environment Making certain that any learning materials do not discriminate against any individuals or groups Ensuring policies, procedure and processes don’t discriminate.
We set up an open debate at our Nursery which included all the members of our staff. We embarked off with discussing about the staff experiences and then we debated about the children. We are a diverse nursery with staff and children of different nationalities and backgrounds.
We spoke about each staff member’s experience when they newly joined the nursery and how they felt warm reception and made to feel as part of the team and Tappy Toes Family. While discussing this, it was noted that a few staff of one nationality were speaking in their mother tongue while in groups, which made the other nationality staff feel excluded. So, we came to a joint decision that going forward, we will all speak in a common language (English) which everyone understands and would cover the area of Inclusion’.
We treat all our staff equally in every way, especially in terms of their employee rights, no matter where they are from or what their background is. They all get equal opportunity to showcase their talents and we work together as a team. During Ramadan, all our staff is encouraged to be considerate towards the Muslim staff and to support them as much as possible during the month of fasting. We celebrate most of the international days, including International Dot day, Children’s Day etc. While discussing this topic, we noted that we are only celebrating the Indian National Day, while we have children from many different nationalities. As a solution, we decided to stop celebrating the Indian National Day and instead a staff suggested that we celebrate United Nations Day on which we can celebrate with all the Nationalities as one. To ensure equality, diversity, and inclusion within my setting , We have implemented the following policies, procedures, and practices: Organizational Development & Culture We developed and implemented a clear Parent Communication Policy that ensures the views, opinions, and feedback of all parents is valued and considered and that we maintain transparent communication that is fair, honest, and respectful.
We published clear guidelines on nursery policies and procedures to parents in a Parent Handbook, to ensure all parents and children have a clear understanding of our requirement for admissions, orientation, curriculum, learning programs, resources, communication and reporting, health and safety, discipline, parent support expectations, social responsibility, confidentiality, fees and refunds, attendance. We developed and implemented staff policies and procedures and published them in a Staff Handbook, and we provide orientation training to all new employees that review all of the policies and procedures within the handbook. The detrimental effect of barriers to diversity and inclusion can foster low morale and lack of motivation in practitioners as well as young students.
Having an awareness of these potential barriers and their effects allows us to address them timely and effectively. The below is a great example of Research other childcare environments that have excelled in the areas of equality, diversity, and Inclusion. British Orchard Nursery are the largest nursery chain in the UAE, but they were also the first to be certified for ISO quality, environment, and health and safety standard. Moreover, they have been awarded 11 international awards, including the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award, the Dubai Human Development and Appreciation Award, and the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award for their dedication to providing quality services and business excellence.
By focusing on an in-depth planning program, which includes personal assessment for every child to ensure each child’s needs are met, in 2008 British Orchard Nursery developed an individual baseline assessment for children in line with Ofsted requirements, and, subsequently, in 2009 they were honored with the Award for Special Needs Education by the Community and Development Authority and later in 2016 with the Golden Peacock Award for Innovative Product/Service for their Baseline Assessment Book. Through adherence to their core values of respect and integrity, equality and diversity, rights and responsibilities, and improvement and innovation, not only are they champions of equality, diversity and inclusion, but they are also setting the standards of equality and inclusion for all nurseries in the UAE.
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