Within the child care setting there is a range of policies which formally sets out guidelines and procedures for ensuring equality. The equal opportunity policy takes account of the rights of all individuals and groups within the setting as well as considering the ways policies work to ensure equality, inclusion, policies also pay regards to the values and practice which are part of all aspect of playgroup’s life. Within the playgroup setting we ensure that all children, their families, friends, carer’s and members of staff and agencies we work in partnership with, are treated equally. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. There are legislations like Race Relations Act 1976, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991, The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and The Children Act 1989/2004, codes of practice and policies and procedures within the setting which regulate equality diversity and inclusion within my area of responsibility. In my managerial role, I have to promote equality and uphold individuals equality of opportunity, individual rights and choice, their privacy, individuality, independence, dignity, respect, promote empowerment, equality of care, confidentiality and their wishes and need in practice these are carried out with individual planning, inclusion, adapting activities and specialist equipment to the individual child’s needs. Ensuring respect and diversity and accept other individual’s differences is paramount within the setting. Inclusion is about ensuring that children and young people, whatever their background or situation, are able to participate fully in all aspects of the life of the playgroup. Inclusive practices will ensure that everyone feels valued and has a sense of belonging. Inclusion is not about viewing everyone as the same or providing the same work, but about providing the same opportunities and access to a high quality of education. In an inclusive environment there is recognition, acceptance and celebration of differences and similarities. In practice this is carried out by recognizing and celebrating diversity and cultural differences through awareness days, through themes and through resources. 1.2
Within our setting potential barriers to equality and inclusion are recognised and staff have a good understanding of individuals and groups of children so that they are aware of any difficulties the children may have in accessing the setting. Barriers are then removed or minimised – the environment is adapted, and personalised support, resources or equipment are provided. Such potential barriers are as follows:
• All activities or opportunities provided need to be appropriate to the age and level of understanding among the children in your group. • It is important that children from minority groups are supported and not singled out in discussions about diversity and equality issues. • Positively encourage play in areas that children might not usually be engaged. • Ensure all adults working in and using the service understand the policy on diversity and equality. • Ensure that children with a hearing or visual impairment can join in all activities such as storytelling and singing, art, music and movement. • Include activities in which speech is not required for full participation, such as art, drama, music and movement. • Predictable routines are needed for children with autistic spectrum disorders. • Ensure that all children, including those with special educational needs, are given tasks with responsibility and that all achievements are celebrated. • Analyse practice and procedures in the setting and remove or rectify anything that is identified as being discriminatory towards any group or individual. • Providing equipment, materials and programme activities free of any bias that challenge stereotypes together with a commitment to challenge bias and discrimination within activities or interaction where it occurs. • The involvement of families, inviting and encouraging support and contributions from families relating to disability, language, heritage or cultural traditions, and culture. • Management knowledge of diversity, equality and anti-discrimination issues. • Assess and raise the level of awareness amongst the team about diversity and equality issues and practice. • Families and staff working together can support the development and implementation of a diversity and equality approach. • Parents of disabled children or disabled parent(s) of non-disabled children may not have come into contact with the diversity approach informing of the organisations policy and procedure. They will need to be informed and assured of the importance of depicting all children in the setting. • If the environment shows diverse family backgrounds, languages and cultures, families will feel welcome and the first steps will have been taken in building trust. Having an awareness of potential barriers and ensuring we address these potential barriers can be overcome in practice.
Equality legislation changed in 2010 with the introduction of the new Equality Act (2010). This act replaced all previous anti-discrimination laws with a single piece of legislation in order to simplify the law, remove any inconsistencies and make it easier for people to understand and comply with it. It also strengthened certain aspects of the law around tackling discrimination and inequality. The general duty has three aims and requires public sector organisations to have due regard to the need to: • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; • advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups; and • foster good relations between people from different groups. Race Relations Act (1976) and Race Relations (Amendment Act 2000) • This Act and its Amendment makes discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin unlawful. It covers people from all racial groups, including white people. • Following the Amendment (2000), it includes more public authority functions and places a general duty on public authorities to promote race equality. The new Act strengthens the 1976 Act in two main ways: It extends protection against racial discrimination by public authorities; It places a new, enforceable general duty on public authorities. Sex Discrimination Act (1975)
This Act applies to women and men of any age, including children, and makes discrimination on the grounds of sex or marriage unlawful. However, it is not unlawful to discriminate against someone because they are not married. Victimisation, because someone has tried to exercise his or her rights under this Act, is also unlawful. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)
An Act to make it unlawful to discriminate against disabled persons in connection with employment, the provision of goods, facilities and services or the disposal or management of premises; to make provision about the employment of disabled persons; and to establish a National Disability Council. A person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. In this Act “disabled person” means a person who has a disability. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too. The Convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two Optional Protocols. It spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. Th...