Cultural Diversity and Curriculum
Diversity in Early Childcare Programs
Erica Grudi
Background
The face of the Early Childcare program is always
changing. Early Childcare programs are now
facing different challenges of integrating new
cultures, religions, ethnic backgrounds, and
socio-economic status into their curriculum
every day. By using new curriculum and being
well versed in how to approach different areas
of diversity can be a key to having a successful
classroom.
Statistics of Children Enrolled in Early
Childcare Programs
• Pennsylvania
There are a total of 43,749 children between the
ages of 3-5 years old that are enrolled in early
childcare education, using Head Start as a form of
educational means. Out of the 43,749 children
who are between the ages of being enrolled, 21,317
of the children are 4 years of age. That is roughly
48% of the total population of that children who are
enrolled in Head Start Programs in the state of
Pennsylvania.
• United States
There are a total of 1,128,030 children who are
enrolled a Head Start Program in the United States
between the ages of 3-5 years old. Out of the 1.1
million children currently enrolled there are a total
of 545,941 children that are 4 years of age that
currently enrolled. That is roughly 48% of the total
number of children who are enrolled in Head Start
Programs in the United States.
Data from the annual Program Information Report (PIR), administered by the Office of Head Start (OHS), Administration for Children and
Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Tables
United States
<3
3
4
5 years and older
Total
176,335
387,299
545,941
18,455
1,128,030
Pennsylvania
<3
3
4
6,188
15,512
21,317
5 years and older
Total
732
43,749
Data from the annual Program Information Report (PIR), administered by the Office of Head Start (OHS), Administration for Children and
Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Percentages of number of spaces available in Early Childcare Facilities, ages
birth to 4 and 5 to 12 years of age
0.0% - 1.5%
Juniata (Rural)
McKean (Rural)
Wyoming (Rural-Mix)
Forest (Rural)
Fulton (Rural)
Sullivan (Rural)
Susquehanna (Rural-Mix)
0.0%
1.6% - 4.6%
York (Urban-Mix)
Union (Rural)
Luzerne (Urban)
Fayette (Rural-Mix)
Schuylkill (Rural-Mix)
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
1.6% - 4.6%
0.0%
Mercer (Rural-Mix)
Somerset (Rural-Mix)
0.0%
Mifflin (Rural)
Perry (Rural-Mix)
Carbon (Rural-Mix)
Cameron (Rural)
Armstrong (Rural-Mix)
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
2.1%
Jefferson (Rural)
Clinton (Rural)
2.2%
2.3%
0.0%
Elk (Rural)
Greene (Rural)
Clarion (Rural)
Northumberland (Rural)
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
Bedford (Rural)
Potter (Rural)
Beaver (Urban-Mix)
Lycoming (Rural-Mix)
0.2%
0.5%
0.5%
Warren (Rural)
Philadelphia (Urban)
2.5%
2.6%
0.1%
0.8%
Adams (Rural)
Franklin (Rural-Mix)
0.9%
Lawrence (Rural-Mix)
1.2%
Lebanon (Urban-Mix)
1.2%
Cambria (Rural-Mix)
1.4%
Bradford (Rural)
1.5%
2.7%
Butler (Rural-Mix)
2.7%
2.8%
2.9%
3.0%
3.0%
Lehigh (Urban)
Huntingdon (Rural)
Delaware (Urban)
Dauphin (Urban)
Bucks (Urban)
Westmoreland (UrbanMix)
3.2%
3.3%
3.3%
3.3%
3.3%
Wayne (Rural-Mix)
Indiana (Rural)
Northampton (Urban)
3.6%
3.7%
Montgomery (Urban)
Berks (Urban-Mix)
4.7% - 9.9%
Blair (Urban-Mix)
Pike (Rural)
Washington (Urban-Mix)
2.7%
Lancaster (Urban-Mix)
1.1%
Chester (Urban)
Snyder (Rural)
Cumberland (Urban-Mix)
5.3%
Montour (Rural)
5.5%
Lackawanna (Urban)
6.0%
Allegheny (Urban)
6.0%
Centre (Urban-Mix)
6.1%
Crawford (Rural)
6.1%
Clearfield (Rural)
6.2%
3.8%
Erie (Urban-Mix)
7.3%
3.8%
Columbia (Rural)
7.4%
4.0%
4.0%
Venango (Rural)
8.7%
4.1%
Monroe (Rural)
9.9%
4.3%
10.0% - 15.0%
4.4%
4.6%
Tioga (Rural)
3.4%
15.0%
NAFCC, NAEYC, NAA, NECPA, and PA Departments of Education and Public Welfare, Office of Child Development
and Early Learning. High-quality child care - availability for children in high-quality child care providers by age
grouping: Early child care - ages 0-4 (percent) – 2012 . (2012). Retrieved from
http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/bystate/Map.aspx?state=PA&loct=5&ind=2669&dtm=2&tf=868
NAEYC’s Goal Statement
“NAEYC’s goal is to build support for equal
access to high-quality educational programs that
recognize and promote all aspects of children’s
development and learning, enabling all children
to become competent, successful, and socially
responsible adults. Children’s educational
experiences should afford them the opportunity
to learn and to become effective, functioning
members of society.”
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1995, 11). Responding to linguistic and cultural diversity
recommendations for effective early childhood education. Retrieved from
http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/PSDIV98.PDF
NAEYC Guidelines for Curriculum
• Areas of
Development Focus
• Cognitive
Development
• Social-Emotional
Development
• Physical Development
• Gross Motor Skills
• Fine Motor Skills
• Language
Development
• Literacy Development
• Curriculum Content
Areas
•
•
•
•
•
Early literacy
Mathematics
Science
Technology
Creative expression
and appreciation of
the arts
• Health and safety
• Social studies
Council for Environmental Education. (2009). Standard 2: naeyc accreditation criteria for curriculum.
Retrieved from http://www.projectwild.org/growingupwild/images/NAEYC_Standards.pdf
Different Types of Curriculum
• Montessori: focuses on five different areas- practical life, sensory
awareness education, language arts, mathematics and geometry and
cultural subjects
• High/Scope®: five areas of focus- approaches to learning; language,
literacy, & communication; social and emotional development; physical
development, health, and well-being; and arts and sciences.
• Reggio Emilia: has four principles that they focus on, “1- children must
have some say over what they learn; 2- the senses play a big role in the
learning process -- children must be able to touch, move, listen, see and
hear in order to fully process something; 3-children are encouraged to
interact with other children and explore the world through material items
and relationships; 4- children should be encouraged to always express
themselves and be given infinite means and opportunities to do so.”
• Creative Cirrculum: which is what the Jewish Community Center uses to
encourage their children to think, look, and cognitively think outside of
the box.
Klein, A. S. (n.d.). Different approaches to teaching: Comparing three preschool programs. Retrieved from
http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=367
Rock, A. (2012). Reggio emilia approach . Retrieved from
http://preschoolers.about.com/od/parentingglossary/g/ReggioEmilia.htm
Benefits to new types of Curriculum
Research continues to show us that our population
of children enrolled in Early Childcare programs is
always changing. One of the key factors we need to
continue to look at and examine is our curriculum
and how it can be changed and adapted to the
children we are attempting to serve in our
programs.
Changing curriculum to benefit our children will
help us to reach children of different backgrounds,
which include; cultural, religious, ethnic, socioeconomic, and many others.
Claudio (Photographer). (2011). lassroom tips, teaching in thailand . [Print Photo]. Retrieved from
http://baanajarn.com/classroom-tips/why-do-kids-learn-languages-so-easily/
Ways to handle different cultural
diversity in the classroom
Many researcher and Early Childcare Programs look at
different ways to make sure that families of different
cultures, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and socioeconomic status feel comfortable in their program.
Ways to help them feel comfortable and successful are,
improving program access and quality; building staff
relationships with families; supporting parents'
community participation and negotiation of community
resources; and improving staff development, dynamics,
and well-being.
Vesely, C. K., & Ginsberg, M. R. (2011). Strategies and practices for working with immigrant families in early education
programs. YC Young Children, 66(1), 84-89. http://search.proquest.com/docview/874155110?accountid=13158
Teachers relationships with families of
different cultural backgrounds
Research has found that families of multiple
backgrounds and cultures that have greater
relationship with their children’s teacher tend to
have more success in helping their child with
succeeding in the classroom.
The research really stresses the importance of the
relationship between the child and the teacher and
the awareness of the teacher to different cultural
backgrounds
Sepulveda, C., Garza, Y., & Morrison, M. O. (2011). Child teacher relationship training: A phenomenological
study. International Journal of Play Therapy, 20(1), 12-25. doi:10.1037/a0021938
Ways to strengthen a program that has
cultural diversity present
NAEYC talks about ways to strengthen the bond between
teachers and families of students that have different cultural
backgrounds that speak other languages that are not native to
the United States.
NAEYC directly states, “When early childhood educators
acknowledge and respect children’s home language and
culture, ties between the family and programs are
strengthened. This atmosphere provides increased
opportunity for learning because young children feel
supported, nurtured, and connected not only to their home
communities and families but also to teachers and the
educational setting.”
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1995, 11). Responding to linguistic and cultural
diversity recommendations for effective early childhood education. Retrieved from
http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/PSDIV98.PDF
Ways to integrate families into the
learning process
NAEYC recommends these steps to integrate families into the learning
process and daily tasks that happen every day.
These steps include:
– Recognize that all children are cognitively, linguistically, and emotionally
connected to the language and culture of their home.
– Actively involve parents and families in the early learning program and setting.
– Acknowledge that children can demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities
in many ways.
– Encourage and assist all parents in becoming knowledgeable about the
cognitive value for children of knowing more than one language, and provide
them with strategies to support, maintain, and preserve home-language
learning.
– Recognize that parents and families must rely on caregivers and educators to
honor and support their children in the cultural values and norms of the
home.
This information was directly pulled from the NAEYC website in their area dealing
with cultural, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1995, 11). Responding to linguistic and cultural diversity
recommendations for effective early childhood education. Retrieved from
http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/PSDIV98.PDF
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Cultural Diversity and Curriculum Diversity in Early