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Reflecting on practice and provision in Early Years settings

See why ensuring that all children and families can access the high-quality care, teaching and learning that Early Years provision can offer depends on inclusion, which is about attitudes as well as behaviour and practices.

Ensuring positive attitudes

This is a passage from the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Effective Practice Commitment 1.2:

  • The attitudes of young children towards diversity are affected by the behaviour of adults around them and by whether or not all children and families using the setting are valued and welcomed.
  • Focused discussion and training are needed to help practitioners and settings consider the nature of discrimination and develop inclusive practice.
  • Inclusion is not optional: children have defined entitlements in this area and settings have legal responsibilities.

In order to meet their responsibility to 'ensure positive attitudes', practitioners may need first to examine their own attitudes towards difference and diversity. To remove or help to overcome 'barriers for children', practitioners need to be aware that those barriers, not always obvious or instantly recognisable, exist, particularly if some of those barriers are attitudinal.

This resource is for all practitioners, whatever their ethnicity, and recognises the discomfort likely to be felt by any practitioners when discussing their own attitudes and those of each other. However, unless we are able to examine our feelings and attitudes, sensitively but openly, successive generations of children may continue to feel alienated from educational provision and miss their entitlement to succeed within it at all key stages.