Australia is a wonderful country full of many different cultures.
It is important to acknowledge all cultures and value what that means to the staff, children and families associated to your service. We have an obligation to teach the children to respect all people and cultures that may be different from themselves and to be proud of what makes them an individual.
Everyone deserves to have a sense of belonging no matter what background, be it economic, religious or ethnic.
Our cultural background affects how we think and act, therefore how we care for the environment and each other. We can learn a lot from other cultures on how to respect the environment.
Celebrate Chinese new year, Cinco De Mayo or other countries’ independence day
Teach respect for food – not all families around the world have access to clean water and food (this may even include some families that you work with). Food related crafts can be fun, however what could that mean for a child from a family which struggles? Could you use something else or a smaller amount? You can start to introduce these conversations at a very young age with the children.
Have a map of the world and a photo of the children with a string linking them to their heritage. Extend this activity and include the staff. Perhaps some families would like to bring something in to share with the other children?
Invite families to contribute stories, photos, games played and ideas
The One World Centre (www.oneworldcentre.org.au) is an amazing resource that has many different resource kits for primary schools and secondary schools that link to the Australian Curriculum. And now, they are teaming up with LGS WA to start creating resources that show direct links to NQS and EYLF as well. Like all good things, this will take a bit of time, but in the mean time you are welcome to contact them to find out about what is available to you.
Here is a great booklet done by Child Australia we found that goes through many ideas and also discusses tokenism:
When the children are playing in their 'Nature's Kitchen' you can use the opportunity to discuss foods from other cultures and compare it to what they have at home. Take the opportunity to discuss how important food is and not to waste it.