This resource is intended as a dynamic collection of shareable resources/documents to support educators in multiculturalism in early years education, with a focus on inclusion and fostering partnerships (Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority, 2018b). It is anticipated that it would be saved on the centre’s portal for all staff to access. As educators find additional resources, these can be inserted into the document for future reference.
The selected suite of access links are in direct support of the Melbourne Declaration’s goal that ‘all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens’ (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training & Youth Affairs, 2008). Each resource link connects educators with information about general backgrounds, greetings, cultural etiquette and communication specific to twenty different cultures within Australian communities. The information contained in the resource, will assist educators to promote culturally inclusive learning, by providing information about the cultural identities of the families in their community. Culture is described in the Early Years Learning Framework (Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations, 2010), as the ‘fundamental building block of identity essential for a child’s being and belonging’. However, this is also true for the families and communities of those children and when children and their families observe an omission of their identity, it can be just as detrimental as stereotypes or inaccurate information (Child Australia, 2009).
Furthermore, Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems model (1981), places children and families in the microsystem, which is the foundational system where children learn social and cultural competencies. However, Paat (2013), states that immigrant families are under far greater pressure to conform to fit into mainstream society. By enacting the strategies, reflections and exercises contained in the suite of resources educators can support the children and their families, who attend our services, to feel welcome and valued for who they are, while supporting all our children, to grow and flourish in a multicultural society (Child Australia, 2009).