Embracing diverse cultural backgrounds


Sunday 1 July, 2018

Close up of children looking at the camera

Cultural diversity is represented across all eight health priority areas and is integral to the whole service approach within the Achievement Program. Here are great examples of services that demonstrate cultural diversity in their every day practices.

Milestone Child Care and Kindergarten joined the Achievement Program in 2013 and since then has achieved recognition for:

  • Tobacco Control
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Sun Protection (advanced standing)

The kinder staff and community always think about and include cultural diversity when working on any health priority area in the Achievement Program. They are currently working on Mental Health and Wellbeing and Tobacco Control.

When focusing on the Mental Health and Wellbeing priority area, the kindergarten proved what a great job they are doing to facilitate the engagement of families and children from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Alyssa Wright, Centre Manager said:

“Families from different backgrounds are made to feel welcome. We display information and resources from their cultures and try to learn key words in their language. In the past, we have accessed a cultural inclusion program that helped us integrate a non-English speaking child into our centre. That process was very beneficial to all of us and we received many beautiful resources.”

In working towards meeting the Tobacco Control priority area, which encourages educators and staff to develop competencies and engage with families and children from diverse cultural backgrounds, Milestone Child Care and Kindergarten learnt some valuable tips.  

“For families from differing backgrounds, we make sure our signage has pictures describing the message, as well as writing. We can also access information in different languages from Quit and QuitNow,” Alyssa Wright said.

Uniting Church Ringwood Kindergarten joined the Achievement Program in 2013 and since then has received recognition for:

  • Healthy Eating and Oral Health,
  • Sun Protection (advanced standing)

The kindergarten is currently working on Mental Health and Wellbeing priority area and has a strong focus on supporting cultural diversity within its service.

The staff and educators are celebrating cultural diversity and meeting the Mental Health and Wellbeing benchmarks by:

- inviting the Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer to provide a cultural incursion for staff and the Koori Engagement Officer to undertake a cultural audit of the centre

- sharing information from cultural training with families

- having discussions with children about the map of Aboriginal Australia 

- learning different ways to respectfully communicate with families from Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Island backgrounds

- making sure that the children, staff and families feel that the centre is an open, safe and trusting environment

- reviewing the physical environment of the centre to ensure it is representing the range of cultures within the centre. 

Healthy behaviours help to lower health risks, prevent chronic disease, enhance learning outcomes and set children up for a life of healthy habits.

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