Inclusion & Equality Policy
At Chingford House Nursery, our service is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children and their families. We recognise that families come from diverse backgrounds and have needs and values that arise from their socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural or religious backgrounds.
We value and respect that children grow up in diverse family structures, whether it includes two parents, a lone parent, same sex parents or children brought up by grandparents, other extended members of the family or by foster parents.
Some children have needs that arise from a disability or impairment, or may have parents that are affected by mental health issues or have their own challenges. We understand that some children come from families who experience social exclusion, severe hardship or abuse; we acknowledge that some families experience discrimination, isolation and exclusion. More importantly, we understand that these factors may affect children’s well-being and can impact on their learning and development.
However, our attitude and ethos at Chingford House Nursery does not change in how we treat children and families. We are clear in our position that we are committed to an anti-discriminatory practice; we want to create equal opportunities for all and that we value and celebrate diversity. Our priority is to ensure the well-being and welfare of the children that attend our setting.
We aim to:
• Provide a secure and accessible environment in which all of our children can flourish
• Include, value and appreciate the contribution and involvement of all our families
• Provide positive, non-stereotyping learning and education about gender roles, family structures, ethnic and cultural groups and disabled children and adults
• Improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of anti-discriminatory practice, and promoting equality and valuing diversity through training
• Challenge and eliminate discriminatory actions from staff, parents and users of the setting
• Ensure that inclusion is a common thread through all our activities, resources and attitudes throughout the nursery
• Foster good relations between all communities
At Chingford House Nursery we adhere to many regulations, guidance and policies to ensure that we are meeting regulatory conditions. In showing due regard to this policy, it is informed by the:
Equalities Act 2010
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021)
Special Educational Needs Disability Code of Practice: 0-25yrs (2014)
Children and Families Act (2014)
Named Person for Inclusion & Equality:
Padmalekha Padmanabhan (Lekha) has the responsibility alongside the Manager and Owner to ensure that we are promoting a non-stereotypical, anti-discriminatory practice and that we are creating an inclusive ethos and attitude within the nursery.
Lekha's responsibilities are to help to audit resources to ensure that they depict and embrace the diverse cultures, ethnicities, gender, family structures and abilities and disabilities.
Lekha will also help to ensure that the Inclusion and Equality policy is implemented throughout our practices and that staff are conversant with the policy. Lekha will also be responsible for advising staff, cascading information to the team and ensuring that, as a setting, we are kept abreast of current guidance and legislation. Lekha will undertake training to ensure that she carries out this position to a high standard.
Children & Families:
At Chingford House Nursery we feel that it is important that, right from the outset, we ensure that parents are aware of our inclusion and equality ethos, which is highlighted in our Admissions policy. We operate a Key Person approach which enables us to establish strong and positive partnerships with the children and families. This approach ensures that families are valued and treated as individuals as well as ensuring that we understand and respect their culture, religious belief/faith,attitude and ethnicity.
We support the children by:
• Understanding that play is the vehicle for promoting learning and development and that we use play opportunities to help children to understand that exclusion from other children playing can be hurtful
• Ensuring that all children have the opportunity to experience a challenging appropriate, broad and enjoyable programme of learning and development based on their individual needs and interests
• Differentiating activities and experiences to suit children’s individual learning needs to ensure that all children can participate in them (see our Special Educational Needs and Disability policy)
• Providing activities and experiences for the children which celebrate diversity
• Valuing the children’s views, ideas and opinions and giving them a forum to express themselves, whilst ensuring that they understand that their opinions may differ from others
• Celebrating children’s similarities and differences; that they have a positive sense of self and that they begin to learn tolerance and respect for others
• Ensuring that children have a good foundation on which to build positive attitudes for other cultures, ethnicities, gender and abilities other than their own
We include families by:
• Acknowledging that all families can contribute and enrich our nursery
• Understanding that parents have expertise in their own culture which enables them to advise and support the staff when we are celebrating festivals
• Establishing a positive and effective dialogue to ensure that we are working in partnership with the parents in supporting their children and that any concerns regarding their child's development is brought to their attention as soon as possible
• Ensuring that all parents have a voice and that they are encouraged to complete parental surveys or speak with their Key Person or Manager in respect of our provision
• Encouraging parents to be actively involved in the nursery, through attending meetings, speaking with staff and joining in cultural/international evenings.
Our curriculum endeavours to be child-centred and individualised to meet children's needs. We use the children’s interests and experiences as part of our plans so that it has more meaning to them. Themes such as ‘All about me’ enable the children to learn about community, the environment and how other people live. As a multicultural nursery we cater for children who have diverse linguistic backgrounds; we encourage families to continue to speak with their children in their home language, whilst we provide a language-rich environment which will support their communication and English language skills. We aim to provide some of our displays in different languages to reflect our diverse community. We respect the contribution that the staff, children and parents make to the curriculum and celebrate how it supports and enriches the children’s learning.
At Chingford House Nursery the staff endeavour to introduce and celebrate the festivals that reflect the children that attend the setting as well as other festivals that the children can embrace as part of an understanding that they live in a wider society. We feel that, by exposing the children to a rich diversity of cultures, it will help to shape an attitude of tolerance towards others. Where and when circumstances allow we want to continue to celebrate cultural and international days/evenings with all the children, families and staff.
Children generally benefit from practical activities to support their learning and development. Meal-times are considered a social event in many cultures and we continue that thinking in terms of celebrating festivals through the sharing of different and diverse cultural foods. It goes with saying that we still continue to adhere to any medical or dietary needs that the children may have.
Environment and resources:
Our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment which is inclusive to all; we make every effort to ensure that the rooms are adequate in supporting a physical disability that a child may have, although two rooms are accessible by stairs only. Tables, chairs, toilets and sinks are at adequate height for the children and our resources are age appropriate.
Dual language books, multicultural posters, music and role play materials all play an important part in depicting positive images for the children, which is audited throughout the year by the Named Person for Inclusion and Equality. We have a range of diverse equipment and resources which is suitable for all children and where appropriate there is specialist equipment and resources to support children who may have a special educational need or disability.
Chingford House Nursery is an equal opportunities employer and advertises itself as such. Candidates are recruited by employing a consistent process which is fair and equitable. Candidates are assessed against pre-set criteria and candidates are offered the position based on who best met the criteria.
During the induction process, staff will be informed of their responsibilities in adopting our inclusive and non-discriminatory ethos; staff will be given the Inclusion and Equality policy to familiarise themselves in how we work.
Alongside the Named Person, staff are expected to undertake training as part of their continuous professional development. Chingford House Nursery uses ‘Noodle Now’ as a platform for online training which includes courses such as ‘disadvantaged families’ and ‘inclusion, equality & diversity’.
Staff meetings are forums in which staff can discuss issues such how we are promoting diversity or ways in which to improve our practices. If staff have any concerns, they can raise them at the staff meeting or discuss them in a more formal confidential meeting with the Manager.
Discriminatory remarks or behaviour
At times, children say things that can be considered hurtful to others; this may also include remarks which could be deemed as derogatory. We appreciate that some of these remarks may be what they have overheard, and they may not fully understand the hurt that it may cause; in these situations, the staff will speak with the child to address the matter in a sensitive way and the parents will be informed at the end of the day.
The staff may use the incident as a learning tool and address this with the children so that the children can understand the importance of inclusion and tolerance. It is important that staff understand and accept that they may have their own preconceptions, stereotypes and bias; it is important therefore that we discuss issues as a staff team and ensure that we adopt and promote an inclusion environment.
Any discriminatory remarks made by a parent/carer, user of the setting or a member of staff will be quietly and sensitively challenged; they will be informed that discrimination and prejudice is not something that is tolerated at Chingford House Nursery.
Process for dealing with concerns:
If a parent or member of staff raises a concern where they think that they have been discriminated against or feel that they have been racially or sexually abused, they can formally complain to the Manager. An investigation will take place including interviews with the complainant, the alleged person and any witnesses.
It is our intention to support any claims of discrimination but also to ensure that we have a fair and non-judgemental investigation process. A report will be sent to all those involved following the investigation. If it is found that a parent has behaved racially or sexually inappropriate, they will be excluded from the premises.
If a member of staff has been found to have behaved inappropriately, they will face disciplinary action.
All notes and reports relating to an investigation are strictly confidential and are filed in a secure place.
Reviewing the Inclusion and Equality policy:
The Inclusion and Equality policy is a working document; the Named Person and the Manager continually review and evaluate its effectiveness whilst implementing the policy. This policy will be reviewed in two years' time but updates and changes can be made throughout the year.
The rights, opinions and voices of the children, staff and parents will continue to form part of this policy
Policy created by Yolande Farrell Manager
Signed off by: Zarkar Akhtar Owner
Date: January 2023
Date of next review: January 2025