You are in: Teaching & Learning » Early Years Foundation Stage » Inclusive Practice » BME and Diversity

BME and Diversity

All children, irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities, gender or ability should have the opportunity to experience a challenging and enjoyable programme of learning and development.

Specific Legal Requirements

All providers must have and implement an effective policy about ensuring equality of opportunities and for supporting children with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Providers must have effective systems to ensure that the individual needs of all children are met.

Providers must promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice and must ensure that every child is included and not disadvantaged because of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities, gender or ability.
 
(EYFS Statutory Framework page 25, 37)

Statutory Guidance

Providers should obtain, record and act on information from parents about a child’s dietary needs (EYFS page 27)

Practitioners should focus on each child’s individual learning, development and care needs by:

  • removing or helping to overcome barriers for children where these already exist;
  • being alert to the early signs of needs that could lead to later difficulties and responding quickly and appropriately, involving other agencies as necessary;
  • stretching and challenging all children. (EYFS page 9)

A child’s ethnicity should only be recorded where parents have identified the ethnicity of their child themselves. (EYFS page 38)

Principles into Practice Cards

1.2 Inclusive Practice
2.2 Parents as Partners

Evidence of Effective Practice

Providers have a responsibility to ensure positive attitudes to diversity and difference – not only so that every child is included and not disadvantaged, but also that they learn from the earliest age to value diversity in others and grow up making a positive contribution to society.

Encourage children to recognise their own unique qualities and the characteristics they share with other children.

Written Evidence

The policy on equality of opportunities should include:

  • Information about how the individual needs of all children will be met;
  • Arrangements for reviewing, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of inclusive practice;
  • Information about how the provision will promote and value diversity and differences;
  • Information about how inappropriate attitudes and practices will be challenged;
  • Information about how the provision will encourage children to value and respect others.      

(plus SEN information, EYFS page25)    

Reflecting on Practice

How do you help children value diversity and differences?

How do you challenge inappropriate attitudes and practices in both adults and children?

How do you encourage children, families and staff to value and respect each other?

How would a family arriving at your setting know that all children are welcomed and valued?

Resources

The following documents were made available as part of the National Strategies programme:

Building Futures: Believing in Children. A Focus on Provision for Black Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Building Futures: Developing Trust. A focus on provision for children from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller backgrounds in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Supporting Children Learning English as an Additional Language Guidance for Practitioners in the Early Years Foundation Stage