The rights of children involve the right to basic needs such
as food, protection, education and healthcare. They also include the right of
access to both parents and freedom from discrimination on the basis of sex,
gender, race, disability, religion, colour or sexual orientation. They also
have the right to human identity, meaning that they are to be treated within
the universe human rights systems that they are entitled to as they are human.

The rights of children differ from the basic human rights as
some rights such as the right to marry are dormant until the child is of age.
There are also additional rights due to children being more vulnerable meaning
they are entitled to a right of special protection during childhood. There are
also rights that come under the banner of parental powers due to children not
having autonomy over their choices and thus the parents are required to speak
for them for example in issues of law.

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The equality act 2010 brings together all previous acts
relating to equality and discrimination. The act protects all groups and people
from discrimination. This applies to all organisations that provide a service
to the public for example an early year setting i.e. a nursery. All early year’s
settings must have in place a policy regarding the protection of people in the
setting, be it in the equality of opportunities or supporting people with
additional needs. In my setting this is in the policies and procedures as being
positive towards diversity and differences. There are also SEN and disability
policies that must be incorporated into the practices of the setting my myself
and my colleagues.

The possible consequences of not actively complying with
legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality,
inclusion and discrimination in an early years setting could be disciplinary
action, dismissal, legal action being brought against staff, or the setting and
the possible closure of the setting if it is found to be a fault by the
organisation as a whole.

There are many ways to raise awareness of diversity,
equality and inclusion in an early years setting such as acknowledging and
celebrating a variety of events and festivals from different faiths and
cultures. The environment itself can be made to reflect these practices by
showing diverse images and incorporating different languages in displays and
pictures.

It is also important for practitioners to learn about the
many different belief’s and cultures that are prevalent in their community to
ensure that they are not misrepresented or disparaged. The organisation as a
whole will encourage diversity, equality and inclusion by allowing anyone equal
opportunity to apply for a role in the setting as staff and to admit anyone
without bias to use the services provided.

My role in helping the children gain understanding about
different cultures and beliefs is to provide the resources and opportunities
for learning. For example, having discussions on an event such as Christmas or
providing activities for the children to engage with around an event such as
making cards for valentine’s day. I am also expected to follow the guidelines
set by my settings policies and procedures, which are influenced by the Equality
Act 2010.

There are many sources available for information and support
to promote diversity and equality in early years such as the internet through
sites such as the EYFS website and the Ofsted website. There are also
guidelines in my settings policies and procedures around inclusion and equal
opportunities. Through working with parents a sense of a child’s family
background is established which can help in providing efficient support to each
child.

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