Understanding Difference

by Teresa Narey

Child development researchers have found that children become aware of difference from an age much earlier than we anticipate. Some studies have found that children as young as three months old prefer the company of individuals from their own ethnic group, and according to Penn State University’s Better Kid Care, children start to notice gender and racial differences at the age of two. With this in mind, it is no surprise that current early childhood education research aims to support providers in addressing difference in their work with young children. Though difference is a term used to describe something as unique, it in fact applies to everything.  When we approach teaching difference with this idea in mind, the concept seems less intimidating and far more accessible.  Teaching children about difference doesn’t necessarily mean calling attention to children’s race, gender, ethnicity, or family composition.  It simply means taking a closer look at the everyday things that surround us.

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Our Multicultural World

by Judy Mullican

Preschoolers with teacher sitting at table in classroomThe days are rapidly disappearing when all the children in a child care setting share the same culture and language. Families often move from one part of the country to another or from one country to another to find work. Other families move to new places to find a safer environment, to participate in educational opportunities, or for other reasons. When children enter child care or educational settings in their new communities, they can face many challenges:

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