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Diversity and Family Child Care

  • 1.  Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-12-2019 11:39 AM
    What are some ways you ensure that you are creating an environment that includes diversity even if you do not have diverse enrolled children?

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    Temesha (Ms. Tessie) Ragan
    Family Child Care IF Facilitator
    Perfect Start Learning
    Family Child Care Provider
    Edwards, CA
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  • 2.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-12-2019 06:11 PM
    I am always looking for books that include children of color, people in other places. There are not enough if you ask me.
    Plus we try to include textiles from other places. I have several Chilean textile/ wall hangings called Arpilleras, depicting aspects of every day life. We have made sofa cushions and covers with Ghanian fabrics.
    Great question! would love to hear more.

    Arpilleras https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/09/history-of-quilting-arpilleras-made-by-chilean-women-to-protest-pinochet.html


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    catherine Hills
    head toddler teacher and site director
    marin Horizon school
    Mill Valley CA
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  • 3.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-12-2019 11:24 PM
    This is great! I love this so much!

    For me I try to find non-fiction books and show children's videos I find on youtube about different cultures. We learn about the continents and one of things we learned was about a tradition of camel jumping. We got to watch a video of people jumping over the camels and talked about how and why they did it. We try foods from other cultures and learn how to make some of it and learn different words spoken in other languages.

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    Temesha (Ms. Tessie) Ragan
    Family Child Care IF Facilitator
    Perfect Start Learning
    Family Child Care Provider
    Edwards, CA
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  • 4.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-13-2019 05:03 AM
    Although I am now retired, when in the classroom I used a theme called "Festivals of Light Around the World". Beginning late fall and running through mid winter we read books, did crafts, used music,and did a lot of cooking (because it seems that almost every festival includes "special foods" LOL) among other things to learn about different countries and cultures. Teachers learned a lot too.Here is a good place to begin: https://www.scoopwhoop.com/festivals-of-light-around-the-world/
















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    Karin King
    Education Consultant
    Trumbull CT
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  • 5.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-13-2019 07:45 AM
    Stories from cultures other than western european are my go to method. Also, when I used the International Baccalaureate curriculum, we would teach about a different country each week for an hour and students would observe the ways in which that country was similar and different than their native land.

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    Patrick Joiner
    Augusta GA
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  • 6.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-13-2019 08:05 PM
    This is a great discussion, and there are many answers that come to mind for most of us, based on our own past experience.  I want to expand and go beyond what we normally do.  I want to talk about some information I have learned from a couple of books that shed new light on this topic.

    Both books discusses the term "Cultural Responsiveness", which I think is a great term.   Lynch and Hanson (1998) define cultural responsiveness as "ways of thinking and behaving that enables members of one cultural, ethnic, or linguistic group to work effectively with members of another" (Lynch & Hanson, 1998, p. 492). To be culturally responsive, we need to not only become knowledgeable about people's culture; we need to learn how to interact with them and work together.  Also, to be truly culturally responsive, we need to realize that  race and ethnicity are only two ways we are culturally different. "Culture" also includes educational background, socioeconomic status, language, sexual orientation, political beliefs, and religious beliefs.  Most people think of the go-to response of having a culture day with foods and dressing up from other countries.  Whereas there is not anything wrong with this, it is only one way of being culturally responsive.  There are even differences 'within' cultural groups as well as between them, so we cannot make assumptions about a particular person's culture based on what we have learned from an internet search or what someone has told us.  Each person may practice their culture differently.  Rather than make assumptions or even try to learn from a google search about a particular culture, it is better to learn by asking the person directly.  Ask respectfully what they believe about certain issues. Ask sincere questions with openness and desiring to learn.  If you do this, most people are glad to share information and talk about their culture and how they practice it (Hearron and Hildebrand, 2014). Doing it this way you are more inclusive of that person.  I've seen situations where people make assumptions about a person's culture, and instead of helping that person feel welcomed, they have offended them instead.

    I want to get people's thoughts on this expansion of the term "culture" by using the term: "cultural responsiveness."

    Hearron, P. F. & Hildebrand, V. (2015). Management of child development centers (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
    Lynch, E. W., & Hanson, M. J.  (1998).  Discussing cross-cultural competence: A guide for working with children and their families.  Baltimore, MD: Brooks Publishing



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    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
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  • 7.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-13-2019 10:07 PM
    I have a program that I teach that is called Different Is Not Dangerous, where I use music from other countries, simple songs in different languages that communicate to the kids that there are different ways to say things, so it's not weird to hear another language, and by extension it's not weird to dress differently or have different customs.  I also think it's very important that the kids see examples of kids from other countries, both doing the same things that we do here, and doing different things.  So I use as many picture books as possible that show kids from different backgrounds.  I especially like the ones that are not actually about another country, but rather just kids of different races going through their days.

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    Joanie Calem
    Columbus OH
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  • 8.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-13-2019 10:45 PM
    Joanie, I like that idea, "Different is not Dangerous."  How long does your program last, or is it interwoven into everything else?  Do you have a booklist?  I like books like that too, ones that are not about another country, but people of different cultures going through their experiences.  It is also important to highlight cultures within our local communities that may look like they are from a particular culture, but that are part of a different culture.  My daughter had a friend in elementary school whose parents were from Japan, but she was born in the USA.  When teachers would decide to do a "culture day", and ask her to bring things from her "culture" (assuming Japan), she got upset and stood up and declared, "I am not Japanese; I am American!"  We need to respect how people represent themselves and not make assumptions about people's cultures.  We are becoming more of a blend than we are being purely from a specific culture.  To add to what you have (Different is not Dangerous), we even need to talk about diversity in families, such as same sex parents, single parents, being raised by grandparents, foster parents, adoptive families, and large and small families, so that all children feel equally valued with their family type.  Maybe you also have that included.  What about various religions, SES backgrounds, varying abilities, etc.?  There is beginning to be a larger selection of books on these topics.

    I even had children who believed in Santa and one child whose parents taught her from the beginning that there was no Santa. It became a heated discussion with the children at lunch one day.  The children were 4, so in concrete operational thinking.  They said there is a Santa because they saw him at the mall.  The child said her daddy told her there was no Santa. It is just your parents.  The others became more adamant that there really was a Santa. Finally the girl was in tears. As she was crying in my lap I told her that her daddy is right, and that the other children are also right.  Everyone has their own reality.  Everyone has their own beliefs.  It is ok for them to believe what they believe.

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    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
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  • 9.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-13-2019 10:55 PM
    Hi De-Ann,
    I do have a book list, and yes my program does include all kinds of diversity...gender/family structure/abilities/religions etc.  My idea actually sprouted out of other programs that I do regarding inclusion of kids with different neurological wiring (autism etc).  I do this as a teacher training, with songs/stories/games and books that can be sprinkled into circle times throughout the year, or used every day...depending on the teacher!

    There are more and more excellent picture books that cover all of these different areas.

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    Joanie Calem
    Columbus OH
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  • 10.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-13-2019 11:11 PM
    I'd love to know some of your favorite book titles and maybe a few songs or games.

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    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
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  • 11.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-14-2019 02:01 PM
      |   view attached

    Hi DeAnn,
    I've attached my list of picture books and the handout of some of the songs and games that I do.

    The picture books are not all just preschool books, so certainly check out the age appropriateness of any that you don't know.

    This list covers all the different kinds of community building when "othering" happens, so includes books about special needs that affect classroom behavior, race issues, gender issues, religious issues, clothing, SES, etc!  Some of them are explicit, some of them leave a lot of room for interpretation, both of which I like for different times and places.  Some of them are about being one's self in a community setting, some of them are just about community building.

    It's an ever expanding list!  I love using books, and of course there are constantly new wonderful books being written, especially about these topics.

    The songs are either folk songs, or songs that I have written for classroom use.  The songs by me can be found on my youtube channel.

    The teachers' workshop that I do about using songs in different languages (Different Is Not Dangerous) is a little more complicated because I don't have all of those songs recorded, and I'm not sure how easy those would be to find.  But maybe I can come do a teachers' workshop at your Montana AEYC conference :-).

    I love this conversation!  This is my passion...letting difference be okay, getting rid of the human assumption that different is bad.  After all, the question always is, different than what/who?  Obviously, what is different here is "typical" in other parts of the world!




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    Joanie Calem
    Columbus OH
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  • 12.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-14-2019 07:19 PM
    Joanie, thank you for sharing!  I looked through and the songs are darling!  I love them.  I noticed I have several of the books on the book list, but I was surprised at how many I don't have.  You have great ideas that will surely find a place in my program!  I just barely moved to Washington (I need to update), so I'll see what I can do to get you to come do a training!

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    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
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  • 13.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-15-2019 06:56 PM
    I'm glad the collection is useful!
    I was born in WA :-)
    Let's stay in touch.

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    Joanie Calem
    Columbus OH
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  • 14.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 09-14-2019 05:23 AM
    I incorporate pictures books, environmental print and photos of diverse families. I also introduced different foods. Grandparents love to visit with their grandchildren during the day. So we created storytime with grams. This is a perfect time for families to share stories about the heritage and culture.

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    Jerletha McDonald, Owner Director
    Kiddie Korner Home Learning Center
    NAEYC Family Childcare Forum Facilitator
    Arlington, Texas
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  • 15.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 30 days ago
    This is a wonderful conversation. I would like to add that you always have diversity in any group of children you work with. It's important to have an ongoing, everyday, conversation with children about the ways in which they are alike (e.g. We all eat snack!) and the ways we are different (Some people like plums and some people like apples and some people like both!) and how interesting it is that we are alike and different at the same time. We say over and over again - We are all different in different ways - and that's the way it's supposed to be!.
    I bring this up because it's problematic to introduce "culture" as something exotic and strange and something "other people" have. Yes, yes to all the good suggestions already listed - but they have to be grounded in a joyful exploration of how we are simultaneously alike and different.
    And, here's another resource: wwwchildpeacebooks.org. It has a great data base where you can look up books by age and by social identities including ethnicity and heritage.
    Keep on! This is an important conversation.

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    [Julie] [Olsen Edwards]
    Soquel CA
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  • 16.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 30 days ago
    So my comment about not having diverse group is that while we do naturally reference that children have different likes and dislikes it doesn't always address things like we are born in different places, have different hair, skin religion and such. 

    All my kids are all military children. So the very first thing we learn is not everyone moves all the time, not everyone is born in the same places. You are not treating it as exotic or anything. It's a fact of life. So then we learn about the places everyone was born and how it's different from where we live now. 

    It's not just about the way we look not being diverse or the culture we come from it's what brought us together. If all my kids are military children then my class is not diverse in that aspect and can limit their experience that way. 





  • 17.  RE: Diversity and Family Child Care

    Posted 30 days ago
    Thanks, Julie!  This is SO the point!  Thanks for the reminder.  I love the website you posted!  This adds to what Joanie added.  Also I love that Temesha started this discussion.  I've learned so much from everyone.  Everyone made good points.  This is an important topic considering the new positional statement just came live today on Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education:https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/resources/position-statements/naeycadvancingequitypositionstatement.pdf



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    DeAnn Jones
    Co-Facilitator for the Family Child Care Interest Forum
    Discovery Place Child Care, LLC
    Bozeman, MT
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