How do ABC Quality Providers Support Pride and Understanding of Family Culture?
Most parents and caregivers wonder how well their child will fit into a child care program’s classroom culture. But many families are also looking for a provider to incorporate some of their family’s culture into their child’s day-to-day child care experience. ABC Quality offers multiple methods when it comes to engaging families based on their cultural needs and interests, which helps providers reinforce pride and understanding of a child’s home culture. Here are a few ways ABC Quality child care providers work to understand and honor the backgrounds of the children they’re serving:
- By building relationships with families that support a child’s understanding of their home culture. This starts with the child care provider collecting information via a form or questionnaire about the child and his or her family, including family preferences regarding routine care, dominant languages, social and emotional needs, and any special accommodations required. Opening a steady line of communication helps encourage support of the child’s home culture while in child care. Parents and caregivers can expect regular announcements in newsletters or emails, daily communication about their child’s day, family conferences and open houses, information on local community family services and resources, and perhaps even home visitations to develop relationships with families, among other things. The more a child care facility knows about the families they are serving, the better equipped they will be to support a child’s cultural background while in their care.
- By inviting family members to attend cultural workshops and gatherings and providing volunteer opportunities. Family engagement and cultural understanding increase when programs and families work together in partnership to build relationships that support children’s learning, development, and family well-being outside of the normal ’school day.' Providers may host specific cultural workshops and gatherings or invite family members to attend other outside workshops and gatherings with them. Child care providers can also help support cultural understanding by allowing plenty of opportunities for family members to serve on policy boards, volunteer and participate in program activities and field trips, or organize culturally-based celebrations, like cultural food-sharing or pot-luck events. Beyond program-wide cultural celebrations and volunteer opportunities, another way providers can encourage family participation is through classroom storytelling, where family members are invited to come into the class for storytelling or sharing information about their culture.
- By providing a day-to-day curriculum that incorporates various cultures of children and families. To help encourage a culturally diverse curriculum, providers could ask families to donate some items that will allow them to share information about a child’s home culture. Books or videos representing other cultures are an easy way to increase cultural pride and representation in child care facilities. Beyond the basic cultural curriculum, providers also have policies and practices in place to support the needs of dual language learners, which include a written plan for working with children who are learning multiple languages simultaneously and implementing an evidence-based curriculum with a specific plan for dual language learners.
Lastly, many programs also support families by having a plan to communicate in their home language and providing policies and documents in their home language. Sometimes translators or interpreters may be sought from parents, staff, or board members, but all programs should have a way to communicate important information to parents and caregivers in their home language.
In early childhood and throughout a child’s school years, children need to see themselves represented in their learning environment and also learn the value of other cultures. For a list of ABC Quality rated providers near you who understand the importance of cultural pride and education, use the ABC Quality provider search.
By ABC Quality Team on December 22, 2021