Inclusion, equality and diversity in the EYFS

Inclusion in the EYFS

All children are unique and some children have additional needs which must be met by the setting with the support of the SENCo or Inclusion manager. The drive for early identification of children who are not at their expected level of development, and the subsequent support and partnership working in order to narrow the attainment gap, is key to improving outcomes for our youngest learners.

Through careful observation of children, their starting points, needs and interests, subsequent learning experiences must be planned and differentiated accordingly.

Equality in the EYFS

The Equality Act provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all.  Everything that you do needs to be non-discriminatory and this may require regular reviews of practices, policies and procedures to ensure they do not discriminate against people with a ‘protected characteristic’.

If you are in receipt of:

  • the free childcare grant, and
  • are regularly inspected by Ofsted

you are required to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and The special educational needs and disability (SEND) Code of Practice 0 to 25 years.

Nursery schools maintained by the local authority are covered by the education duties under Part 6 of the Act. Early years services provided by independent schools would also be covered by the education duties, as would early years services provided by maintained schools.

Do I need to have an equality policy?

You must have and implement an effective policy about ensuring equality of opportunities and for supporting children with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Is equality, diversity and inclusion inspected by Ofsted?

The Early Years Inspection handbook sets out the requirements which include children learning to respect and celebrate each other’s differences and develop an understanding of diversity beyond their immediate family experience through a range of activities that teach them effectively about people in the wider world.

What are the council's equality responsibilities?

We have a number of policies and strategies to make sure the council is active in promoting equality, access, and inclusion in our service delivery, policy development and employment practices

Resources to support equality, diversity and inclusion

The following learning resources have been designed for early years practitioners to support equality, diversity and inclusion.

​This is the pathway for children when behaviour issues have been identified, with a view to ensuring that children and their families gain access to appropriate support, depending on whether their issues are an indicator of a Special Educational Need or can be addressed through parenting support.

Resources to support children with behavioural difficulties

This document has been produced for Early Years providers by the Council for Disabled Children. It lays out what they need to know about and do, including responsibilities to disabled children under the Children and Families Act.

​The documents below have been designed to help anyone teaching early years children for whom English is an additional language (EAL).

EAL: Guidance leaflet for parents and carers

How can I help parents with a child's language development?

You can use the following prompts when talking to parents about their child’s language development

Children under two

  • What languages does your child hear at home? And how often?
  • Does your child respond when you call their name?
  • How does your child communicate with you? Is your child using non-verbal communication? (for example, eye contact, follow gaze, pointing, understanding single words and following simple instructions)
  • Is your child using verbal communication? (For example, making sounds, babbling, saying single words or beginning to link 2/3 words together). Refer to EAL Tool for expectations within age band
  • Does your child interact with you? (Does your child take turns by copying facial expressions, mimicking sounds, a simple conversation?)

Children over two

  • What languages does your child hear at home? And how often?
  • What languages does your child speak?
  • Tell me about your child’s language development in their home language? Have they reached their milestones so far? (Refer to EAL Tool for expectations within age bands).
  • Can you get your child’s attention by calling their name? (Guidance - by three years)
  • What are your child’s listening skills like? (Is your child beginning to listen when interested, do they listen and join in with stories, songs and rhymes?)
  • Can your child follow simple instructions?
  • Does your child understand simple concepts? (For example, under/on/in/big/little)
  • How does your child communicate? (Is your child using many different single words, using simple or complex sentences, confident to speak to people other than close family/friends?)

Where can I get more information?

  • The framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage provides further details about the context and legal responsibilities of early years providers with regard to equality, as well as welfare requirements and education and development requirements, and how equality must be considered in everything a childcare provider does.
  • Nursery World has a guide for early years practitioners on supporting young children to value equality and diversity.
  • Building futures - a focus on provision for black children in the EYFS
  • Building futures - a focus provision for children from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller background children in the EYFS
  • SEAD  - Social and emotional aspects of development (SEAD)

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