June 17, 2021
Diversity is an integral part of the world around us, and even preschool-aged children can begin to learn the value of diversity. Learning about diversity and different cultures is important for children to help learn respect towards all people. Teaching children to respect and welcome diversity helps with their social and emotional development. When children learn early on to respect differences, it affects their future behavior in a positive way.
From a young age, children can start to tell that there are differences between others. When we ignore a child’s attention to differences, we unintentionally hinder them from asking questions and opening a discussion about diversity. Instead, teachers and parents should reassure children that differences are okay.
It is important for early childhood educators to foster an inclusive classroom environment that respects all languages and cultures and incorporates them into their curriculum and teaching practices. In addition, helping young children develop positive opinions of their own families and cultures is essential to how they will view their own identity. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), “If the classroom doesn’t reflect and validate their families and cultures, children may feel invisible, unimportant, incompetent, and ashamed of who they are.” Instead, children should be proud of who they are and feel good about themselves, and incorporating celebrating their backgrounds is an essential piece in building that confidence.
At Les Enfants, we are proud to offer an inclusive space where diversity thrives and every culture is welcome. We love to incorporate everyone’s family and background into our classrooms to help children discover who they are and appreciate others. The different backgrounds of our staff and students are celebrated and make Les Enfants a unique and amazing place for children!