As a nanny or regular caregiver, there are a lot of life lessons that come up on the job. While these may or may not be in your official job description, you’re spending a lot of time with the children and some major topics are bound to come up. One of those major lessons will most likely be about the diversity in your community. Have you thought about how you would approach anti-bias conversations with the children in your care?
What Are the Benefits of Multiculturalism Education For Young Children?
Here are a few major reasons why it’s important for children to be educated about diversity in culture.
Expand Cultural Awareness and Encourage Self-Identity
When we’re young it’s very easy to only see things from our personal perspective—we don’t know anything different yet. This is the exact opposite of the “color-blind” approach. Rather than falsely pretending that everyone’s culture is exactly the same, it’s important for kids to understand that other kids (and adults) have different customs, holidays, languages, religions, and traditions than they do.
By educating them about the variety of cultures in their community, kids will be better able to identify what makes themselves unique as well. This will help them to establish a self-identity and understand how they themselves fit into society as a whole.
Respect can look different depending on who the person is—there isn’t a one-size-fits-all guide to respecting others. So rather than understanding respect as a list of specific rules to follow, learning about multiculturalism can help children understand respect through learning about differences and appreciating the viewpoints of others.
Encourage Cooperative Social Skills
Cooperation is a fundamental element to a harmonious society and learning this skill can come in a variety of forms for kids. In the context of cultural diversity, cooperation is a necessary social skill. When encountering different needs or interests, children will need to know how to work together in order to figure out how everyone can feel supported.
Empower Children From Diverse Backgrounds
In adolescence, one of the most uncomfortable feelings in a social group can be the feeling of being different. It’s natural for them to want to fit in with their peers, however, not to the detriment of their self-identity. By creating an environment that celebrates the diversity of everyone in it, kids are more empowered to embrace their own cultural background instead of feeling like they need to hide or change it.
How Can I Teach Multiculturalism To The Kids In My Care?
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can teach multiculturalism to the kids you care for, check out ChildCare Education Institute’s course, Creating a Multicultural Environment.
Sittercity sitters get a special 20% discount off a year of courses, so start with Creating a Multicultural Environment and keep going from there! In addition to this course, they have over 150 online child care training courses in English and Spanish that meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start requirements.
Taking continuing education courses is a great way to build your credentials on your profile as well as having strong talking points in the interview process. CCEI offers the convenience of taking coursework from work, home, a library, or anywhere internet access is available, so they make it easy for you to learn at your own pace and around your schedule.