Be considered as an individual, to be listened to and have their wishes and feelings taken into account when decisions are made concerning their welfare A child care and education worker should focus on an individual child’s personality as a relationship is built up, not ethnicity, religion or background. They should also promote a broad range of cultures, religions and beliefs by valuing and exploring differences with children in their care. Children’s sense of belonging to their culture is very important part of their lives and needs to be acknowledged and valued.
“Any personal preferences and prejudices must be put aside; all children should be treated with respect and dignity irrespective of their ethnic origin, religion or socio-economic group. ” Bruce and Meggitt (2002) Children pick up attitudes and morals from watching others and view the C. C. E. W. as a role model. A good C. C. E. W. would consider the cultural differences and practices before jumping to conclusions about a situation (e.
g. ‘beat’ in British terms would mean ‘forceful hitting’, but in Caribbean it means ‘smack’).
Also, the role of the C. C. E. W. would be very important in dealing with any negative incidents promptly. Actions and words mentioned by the adults around the children could have lasting effects on the development of self-esteem, which shows that, “Early Years Practitioners have a strong role in promoting equal opportunities within their settings – they need to make sure every child feels valued and also that children learn to value and respect others” Tassoni (2002) A child care and education student should be a good role model for children to see.
Personal beliefs, attitudes and prejudices should not discriminate against children or families. All skin colours should be portrayed in a positive way. The student should offer to expand children’s learning opportunities through knowledge and understanding of the world, food, music, language etc. Questions regarding suitability of activities for all children should be asked before carrying them out, encouraging cooperation and pleasantness through interactions with children.
The student should look out for ways to value all children, trying not favour one child over another, promoting positive self images in children from all family backgrounds and encourage caring attitudes. Questions from children regarding race, culture or religion should be answered honestly using appropriate language. A culture, religion, language or lifestyle should not be promoted as superior to another; however a child’s first language should be respected.