Early Years Minister launches anti-racist guidance for childcare settings

The toolkit provides clear and practical advice for childcare providers on a range of anti-racist topics. It will be available for those working in childcare, early years and play sectors in Wales.

It was developed by a consortium of five childcare and play partners – Cwlwm – and the Diversity and Anti-Racist Professional Learning organisation (DARPL).

Childcare and playwork settings, Welsh Government, community mentors and a range of individuals with lived experience were also involved in its development.

The toolkit includes practical advice about becoming familiar with the Halo code for afro-textured hair and providing books reflecting the diversity of Wales as part of children’s libraries.

It will provide settings and staff with advice about steps they can take to ensure the environment they create and the provision they offer is anti-racist.

It also supports settings to build relationships with parents and the local communities to promote understanding about people from different backgrounds.

The toolkit reinforces ambitions from the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan, which aim to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, has access to high-quality, culturally responsive childcare and educational experiences.

These include specific goals and objectives for both education and childcare settings focused on children, learners of all ages and the workforce.

To support early years practitioners, the Welsh Government has worked in partnership with DARPL and Cwlwm partners to create online anti-racist training for the early years sector, as well as supported a growth in the provision of anti-racist resources available to the sector.

Speaking during a DARPL conference in Llandudno to launch the toolkit, Early Years Minister Jayne Bryant said:

We are striving to ensure that we work to make change across education and childcare.

I’m really pleased to support DARPL and Cwlwm in the launch of the toolkit today, as it is a great addition to the work we are doing to progress our anti-racist Wales action plan goals.

Our work includes embedding anti-racist principles in our curriculum and provision, training educators and practitioners to recognise and challenge their own biases, and creating environments that celebrate diversity and promote inclusion.

We are also working to ensure that our childcare, play and education settings reflect the diverse communities they serve. This includes developing resources that represent and celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures within Wales.

On the launch of the toolkit, Founder and Director of DARPL, Chantelle Haughton, said the guide was both ‘practical and supportive’.

She added:

As we make inroads in our commitment to anti-racist leadership and professional learning across childcare, playwork and early years, there are examples of excellent work emerging in our field, but there is still much to do to improve experiences and outcomes future generations in their most malleable years in readiness for lifelong learning.

The toolkit offers useful starting points leading to whole team engagement with DARPL resources, continuums and consultations.

Gwenllian Lansdown- Davies from Cwlwm added:

This practical toolkit will be useful for all childcare, play and early years settings as they embed anti-racism within their practice. This will benefit children and the enabling adults working with them.