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Essay Sample on Equality and Diversity guidelines for childhood 

In a diverse Irish society, all children should have an equal opportunity for learning and enjoyment in the context of childcare.  In this sample writing, we will thoroughly discuss the equality and diversity guidelines for childhood.

‘Equality’ means the importance of recognizing different individual needs and ensuring equity in terms of access, participation, and benefits for all children and their families. It also ensures that all children are treated fairly, protecting their rights and offering the same opportunities regardless of any protected characteristics.

Though children may come from diverse backgrounds, they should be treated equally and inclusively—all children with additional needs must be met through care. By dealing with differences appropriately, it can reduce the chances of discrimination within the childcare settings.

‘Diversity ‘ refers to the diverse nature of Irish society. It is all about how people differ and how they live their lives as individuals within groups and wider social groups.

For instance, a person can be classified or classify themselves by their social class, gender, disability as a returned Irish immigrant, family status, as an intercountry adoptee, or from a different family structure, including foster care.

Why are guidelines enforced for Equality and Diversity in Childcare? 

  • The guidelines have been developed to support, guide, and empower the early childhood care and education sector to deliver diversity, equality, and inclusion to focus practice and training.
  • These guidelines are meant for recognizing gender, ability, culture, class, ethnicity, language, religion, sexuality, and family structure as an integral part of society.
  • It embraces diversity and equality, which can be a rich source of vital learning for our children. Research says that education care providers, inspectors, lecturers, trainers, and others involved in the education and care sector critically explores their own attitudes and practices to provide more inclusive environments.

Aims and Objectives of guidelines for Equality and Diversity in childhood 

  • It aims to create an environment that all students can thrive in by understanding the individual characteristics and making them unique. It prevents them from seeing differences as a negative thing from their early stages of development. It impacts on positive treatment of each other by children.
  • It fosters awareness about diversity, equality, and inclusion.
  • It stimulates discussions about bias and discrimination and how it affects children and families.
  • Encourage and support those working in the sector to actively advocate for diversity and equality for all children and families.
  • It guides training and practice to the carers and providers. The carer’s help in embracing diversity means all children can be treated equally and fairly, so it is a better start in life. It creates a better environment all around.
  • It helps to introduce the anti-bias approach to early childhood services.
  • It provides early childhood practitioners with the tools to deal with challenging issues, including discrimination and bias.
  • It supports critical reflection on personal attitudes and values about diversity and equality.
  • It helps develop skills to support your work in early childhood care and education while implementing and promoting equality and diversity.
  • It creates an awareness of the importance of recognizing children’s multiple identities and providing the ideas for support of individual and group identity in childcare services.
  • It provides equal access and meaningful participation for all children attending early childhood services.

Guidelines imposed upon different categories of people in childcare and education. 

Guidelines are those involved in the early childhood care and education sector. They apply to anyone involved in providing an inspection of or delivery of early childhood care and education. They also apply to those providing mentoring, lecturing, training, and other supports and those representing and developing a policy for the sector. It includes a certain category of persons like:-

  • Managers or owners
  • Education care practitioners
  • Inclusion coordinates in early childhood services
  • Lecturers
  • Trainers
  • Primary teachers
  • Childcare committees
  • Policymakers
  • Students (those studying early childhood care and education)
  • TUSLA Early Years Inspectorate
  • Department and Education Skills-Early Years Education focused inspection.
  • Early Years Specialists

Irish Legislations promoting Equality and Diversity in Childcare 

The Irish legislation for promoting child care, equality, and diversity include the Acts passed for the equality of children in their environment and governing body, focusing upon childcare providers’ needs in childcare settings.

The Equality Act, 2010

  • This piece of legislation on Equality and Diversity focuses on protecting individuals’ rights and advancing equality of opportunity for all. It covers all areas of society, including childcare.  It works on a few elements of society, such as :
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Religion and belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marriage and civil partnerships
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race

Early Years Foundation Stage

This is a governing body that sets standards for childcare providers to follow, ensuring children grow up in diverse environments. They cover the first stages of child care until 5 years old.

The Early Years Foundation Stage ensures an integrated approach to early learning and care by professionals to deliver high-quality childcare.

EYFS focus is stressing the carers need to :

  • Interact with children to promote creative thinking skills that bring upon early language and communication development.
  • Encourage parents to become more involved in their child’s development in the home environment.
  • Identify the needs of a child that creates the necessary links with professionals to support them.
  • Communicate with parents regularly, offering a summary of their child’s progress between 2 and 3 years of age.
  • Ensuring keeping the youngest children in mind too.
  • To make a judgment at the end of the reception year on how a child learns active learning, creating and thinking critically, playing, and exploring.

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