Recommendations for Administrators of Schools, Centers, Family Child Care Homes, and Other Early Childhood Education Settings
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- Provide high-quality early learning services that demonstrate a commitment to equitable outcomes for all children. Arrange budgets to equitably meet the needs of children and staff. Recognize that high-quality programs will look different in different settings because they reflect the values, beliefs, and practices of specific children, families, and communities.
- Take proactive steps with measurable goals to recruit and retain educators and leaders who reflect the diversity of children and families served and who meet professional expectations. All children benefit from a diverse teaching and leadership staff, but it is especially important for children whose social identities have historically been marginalized to see people like them as teachers and leaders.
- Employ staff who speak the languages of the children and families served. When many languages are spoken by the families served, establish relationships with agencies or organizations that can assist with translation and interpretation services. Avoid using the children themselves as translators as much as possible. Families may also be able to identify someone they are comfortable including in conversations.
- Ensure that any formal assessment tools are designed and validated for use with the children being assessed. Key characteristics to consider include age, culture, language, social and economic status, and ability and disability. Assessors should also be proficient in the language and culture in which the assessment is conducted. If appropriate assessment tools are not available for all children, interpret the results considering these limitations.
- Recognize the value of serving a diverse group of children and strive to increase the range of diversity among those served. Race, ethnicity, language, and social and economic status are some dimensions by which early childhood education settings have historically been segregated.
- Provide regular time and space to foster a learning community among administrators and staff regarding equity issues. Include opportunities for all individuals to reflect about their own cultural attitudes and behaviors as well as to uncover and change actions that reflect implicit bias and microaggressions toward children, families, school staff, and administrators.
- Establish collaborative relationships with other social service agencies and providers within the community. Support and give voice to diverse perspectives to strengthen the network of resources available to all children and families.
- Establish clear protocols for dealing with children’s challenging behaviors and provide teaching staff with consultation and support to address them effectively and equitably. To consider potential effects of implicit bias, regularly collect and assess data regarding whether certain policies and procedures, including curriculum and instructional practices, have differential impacts on different groups of children. Set a goal of immediately limiting and ultimately eliminating suspensions and expulsions by ensuring appropriate supports for teachers, children, and families.
- Create meaningful, ongoing opportunities for multiple voices with diverse perspectives to engage in leadership and decision making. Recognize that implicit biases have often resulted in limited opportunities for members of marginalized groups. Consider and address factors that create barriers to diversified participation (e.g., time of meetings, location of meetings, languages in which meetings are conducted).