Children worldwide are being raised in various cultures, religions, ethnicities, societies, family values and traditions. Not one family is the same in makeup, belief or opinion.

It is our role, as childcare professionals, to respect and support equality.

Childcarers can encourage a positive environment and attitude by inviting diversity into the service they are providing. Childcarers can lead by example and show a mutual respect for all cultures, family views, beliefs and nationalities visiting the hotel and using the services. Being conscious and sensitive to the cultural differences in parenting and raising a family, and the issues that may arise, will lead to strong relationships and mutual understanding.

With the above in mind, childcarers should be mindful of the language they are using when communicating with guests, be it spoken or written. This contact can often be the first impression given to a family and therefore, the most important.

It is important that children and families can see themselves reflected in the environment, activities and play resources. Alongside this, as childcarers, it is our responsibility to bring knowledge and understanding to children and families beyond their own culture, belief or nationality.

A stereotype is men working as childcare practitioners and in childcare. It is widely acknowledged that childcare is an occupation dominated by female practitioners, therefore, it is often viewed as the norm and correct way of operating. There is no rule book to advise us that only females should be working with children. Therefore, measures are taken by employers to bridge the gender gap and support equality in the workplace. There are many advantages to having an equal gender balance in your childcare team including the following:

–    Children can benefit from the different caring styles men and women provide.

–    Men bring a more playful, active and movement based care to the environment. As such this type of care may be well received by children.

–    Today, in our society, there are growing numbers of single-parent households. Therefore, many children may be without a male figure in their lives and will benefit.

–    Male childcarers can challenge any gender issues with regards to equipment, activities and play.

By being inclusive of all children and families regardless of ethnicity, gender, culture, family background, language or nationality will result in a safe, supportive, knowledgeable and diverse childcare environment.

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