Rainbow families

Raffa is a very active 3-year-old girl who started kindergarten by the age of 20 months. She has two dads who are very eager parents and want to do everything in her best interest. One dad speaks German and the other dad speaks French as a home language. They speak German with each other and in the family. One dad speaks French to Raffa. Raffa was adopted when she was 14 months old from a children´s shelter on another continent, she lived the first 14 months of her live in this shelter. The language of the other country was Chinese. Raffa often gets asked by the other children where her mother is and has no answer. At times she shows very extreme emotions which can take her up to half a day to redirect.

Age: 3 years and 6 months

Home language: German, French

Additional language spoken: Chinese

At diversity sensitive kindergartens, educators and professionals strive to build a resilient, joyful and empowered community of families that can support each other and be recognised for their contribution to the community as a whole. 

Diversity sensitive kindergartens envision a world where all rainbow families can legally, openly and safely live in full equality. 

  • Should the educators take any steps in communicating with Raffa’s parents before Raffa begins at the kindergarten? Should they speak with the other parents of the group?  

  • What are the next steps?  

  • What might be Raffa´s risk factors and resources when it comes to prosilience?  

  • How might Raffa feel? 

  • How might the other children feel? 

  • How might the other parents feel? 

  • How might Raffa’s parents feel?  

An international kindergarten is a vibrant, multicultural community. This cultural diversity is central to a kindergarten identity. Diversity contributes to the richness of the community and is a core pillar of what defines a diversity sensitive kindergarten. Research proves that when early childhood educators respect the diversity of families and communities, they are able to foster children’s motivation to learn and reinforce their sense of themselves as competent learners (Brooker & Woodhead, 2008). 

It is important that young children in a kindergarten grow up with an appreciation and respect for the diversity of families, identities, cultures, races and ethnicities that surround them. Early childhood education provides the ideal setting for children to learn about different identities and cultures while forming friendships with people from a wide range of backgrounds.  

By promoting the understanding of collective varying differences and diversity, parents and early childhood educators can assist children to build positive relationships with all families and children (Crouch S. , Waters, McNair, Power, & Davis, 2014).