Building and Sustaining Relationships

In a very diverse team and kindergarten there will inevitably be people with many different physical traits. Children who come from different cultures sometimes fear novel appearances and need ”settling in” in this regard as well. Those who are used to being surrounded by people with similar appearances can be overwhelmed by diversity, which can result in obvious signs of distress. It is important for parents to observe how the children are reacting to their new environments, if they see their child is anxious it is important not only to communicate with the educators, but to support their child.

Read books with your child that represent a range of people with different backgrounds, abilities, personalities, interests, and genders.

In the kindergarten noise levels will also be different from those at home or in previous settings.  These varying noise levels may affect your child’s settling in process.  You can support your child by talking to them about it and making some of them more familiar by, for example, singing songs from the kindergarten at home as well. 

Easing anxiety and opening up a line of communication is the educator´s role. It is crucial that parents share with educators the context, cultural background and home habits of the child and their family environment, all this information helps to clear up a variety of cultural differences and helps educators to understand the child’s situation better. This will help you to feel more confident when settling your child into a new environment. Good communication and cooperation between educators and families are the key to success.

Different cultures may have different views on gender roles. It is important to know as a parent that the child may have male or female educators. Every culture has different expectations of behaviour, play and following the rules, based on gender. It may be different for a child from different backgrounds to enter into a kindergarten environment where all the children are invited to participate in all activities. Parents can assist in this process by providing environments where there are children of all genders playing together such as music classes or play dates to help the child feel more comfortable and understand this concept.