Culture and Diversity External Resources

What does it mean to be culturally competent?

What does cultural competence mean and why is it so important for children to have their culture and cultural backgrounds acknowledged, respected and valued? Underlying cultural competence are the principles of trust, respect for diversity, equity, fairness, and social justice. Read more...

Podcast: Immigrant and Refugee Children in Childcare

In this recording, Julie Dotsch, writer, presenter and trainer for CMAS, discusses research and practices that support refugee children and families. She looks at the importance of keeping traditions alive by integrating them into the new culture as well as the importance of newcomer families maintaining their home languages.

60 Free Watercolours of Diverse Families

Painted by artist, Claire Fletcher, these beautiful watercolours show images of diverse families engaged in a variety of activities - going to the doctor, reading time, dads group, family games, hand washing and cooking together. They are free for non-commercial use, so you can print them to display in your program, or use them in parent newsletters/resources!

How Can I Improve My Cultural Competence?

To be truly culturally competent, educators need to be engaged in ongoing learning and reflective practices. This newsletter developed for Australia’s  Early Learning Framework, looks at the issue of Understanding Cultural Competence in Early Learning and Care. In it, you’ll find insights and questions to reflect on that will support your work with children from diverse cultural backgrounds.

20 Short Videos Document Dual Language Learning

Teaching at the Beginning is dedicated to educators of young dual language learners. They have developed a series of videos that show language learning in action - from teachers learning the languages of the children, to children creating connections between languages! There's also a 45-page training guide that you can use with the videos as an individual, or with your team for professional development. It includes, questions and suggested reflections that allow you to really expand your thinking and knowledge of second language learning with children!

Wouldn’t it be fun to sing O Canada with children in their home languages?

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra recorded our national anthem in 12 languages:  Arabic, American Sign Language, Cree, English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Tamil. This is part of celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday (sesquicentennial) starting in 2017.

Hundreds of Free Tools to Build Leadership and Enhance Cultural Competence!

The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers thousands of pages of tips and tools for taking action in communities. Want to learn about community assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, advocacy, and other aspects of community practice? Then help yourself to over 300 educational modules and other free tools. The website is currently available in English, Spanish, and Arabic, and includes an entire unit on Cultural Competence in a Multicultural World

My Name/My Identity

Have you ever mispronounced a child's name? It’s okay to make an error, but it is not okay to ignore the mistake or not learn from it. A child's name can be a powerful link to their identity. To promote equity and respect in the classroom, pronouncing students names correctly should always be a priority. Read more, take the pledge, and access resources on how to honour childrens' names at My Name My Identity.

VIDEO: Young Dual Language Learners Teach the Teacher!

English language learning is an interactive process that should include teachers affirmation of the child’s identity, self-esteem and capabilities. In this video snapshot, the teacher learns brand new words from his preschool children - in Chinese! It also includes helpful commentary from researcher, author and consultant Dr. Linda Espinosa and discussion questions that you can use with your team.

How to Improve Your Cultural Awareness and Understanding

The National Centre for Cultural Competence has a Curricula Enhancement Module Series on Cultural and Linguistic Competence. It is intended for health and mental health professionals, but has a module on Cultural Awareness and Self-Assessment Checklists that will help early learning and care professionals improve their cultural awareness and understanding as well!