My service is unsure about celebrating LGBTQIA+ cultures - How can I get management on board?
Present its mandate and governing regulations
Early childhood services are not only protected by, but mandated by, state, national and international law and regulation to include and celebrate LGBTQIA+ families and their children and culture.
You can use this information to guide conversations with your service managers and leaders; and they can use it to guide discussions with stakeholders who are unsure or unsupportive.
Let’s have a look at what each of these frameworks says
National Law: The National Quality Standard
Respecting family culture – including LGBTQIA+ cultures - are required in QA 6 of the NQS.
QA 6.1.2 – Parents views are respected – that the expertise, culture, values and beliefs of families are respected. This includes the particular cultures and ways of being for families within LGBTQIA+ cultures.
All State, Territory and Commonwealth Government’s have enshrined this in law. You are required to do this, and management will be protected when you do.
This is not negotiable.
Early Years Learning Framework
The revised Early Years Learning Framework builds on previous commitments to promote family and cultural diversity and inclusion in children’s programs. Specific reference to family structure and gender diversity include:
“Educators recognise that families are children’s first and most influential teachers. They create a welcoming and culturally safe environment where all children and families are respected regardless of background, ethnicity, languages spoken, religion, family makeup or gender” P15
RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY
“Educators acknowledge the histories, cultures, languages, traditions, religions, spiritual beliefs, child rearing practices and lifestyle choices of families. They build culturally safe and secure environments for all children and their families” P16
EQUITY, INCLUSION AND HIGH EXPECTATIONS
“Educators who are committed to equity recognise that all children have the right to participate in inclusive early childhood settings, regardless of their circumstances, strengths, gender, capabilities or diverse ways of doing and being” P17
This is a fresh mandate, one agreed by all Australian governments, early childhood services, and the teams working within them are required to include, and celebrate, LGBTQIA+ cultures.
Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics
The ECA Code of Ethics for our profession asks us to Celebrate the uniqueness of each family – including family structure. And that we don’t discriminate against children.
“I will celebrate the uniqueness of each family – including family structure”
This is a very specific reference to family diversity, one that early childhood professionals sign up to upholding.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 2 of the UNCRC states that
“Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members
This includes their parents' gender identity and sexuality and has been in international covenant since 1989.