Empower children to stand up for themselves and others in difficult situations. Its an approach that fits well with both the Solta national quality framework and the Aistear curriculum framework. The principles of Solta state that equality is an essential characteristic of quality early childhood care and education, and that quality settings respect diversity and have their individual, personal, cultural and linguistic identity validated. Similarly, nurturing equality and diversity is one of the 12 principles of Aistear, and identity and belonging is one of its four themes. Fundamentally, the anti-bias approach does not focus on additional supports for children from minority groups, but on changing mainstream practice so that the uniqueness of every child is recognised and supported, and so that the differences between all children are respected.
Thats why equality and diversity are so central to high quality practice they benefit all children. The Pre-School Education Initiative involved training and mentoring of staff in 160 early care and education settings, spread across nearly all counties, in 2011-2012. Building on the work of the Equality and Diversity Early Childhood Network (EDeNn), the initiative was implemented through the City and County Childcare Committees, and was the first time the training was delivered at a national level.