Speaking with Young Children is DEI

Leapfrog Teacher Child Talk

a monthly message from Deb Green

Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children's earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families seemed more pressing.

Last week, I attended a conference on diversity, equity and inclusion. As it was the first in-person conference I have attended in over two years, it was wonderful to gather with other early childhood educators and share experiences.  

We discussed the research that shows that children as young as 3 months recognize differences in race and by three years are showing preference by race in who they choose to play with. We know that not speaking with children directly about race reinforces racism. And we know that regularly exposing children to adults and peers of different races greatly reduces bullying, prejudice and bigotry. 

We talked about how early childhood is the ideal time to begin emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion of all types. Throughout this conference, I was reminded of the importance of the work that we do with children and families each day at PIC.

I invite you to join us on Wednesday, April 20 at noon on Zoom for a Lunch & Learn session on talking with children about sexuality and their bodies. Sexuality educator (and former PIC teacher) Isy Raveson-Abrams will share ideas for getting conversations started around the topics of sexuality, body consent, and inclusion.

Together, we can help young children recognize differences in gender, race, sexual orientation, language, cultural backgrounds, and abilities, and watch them become more considerate citizens who address injustice and discimination as they grow.

Please keep an eye on our website as we continue to collect resources to help support the ongoing work in diversity, equity and inclusion that we all do.