This Sunday, March 8th Is International Women’s Day (IWD). International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s and celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and acts as a reminder of the need for gender equality. IWD prides itself on representing unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action.
This year, IWD’s theme is #EachforEqual, focusing on the idea that each of us has the power to fight against stereotypes and biases and create a gender-equal world together. According to research, children as young as 2 years old can begin to apply stereotypes and biases, including stereotypes towards things such as toys and activities that are based on gender, so it is never too early to begin teaching our children about equality, and celebrating people’s differences and achievements. At Educational Playcare, we are inspired every day to create an environment for our students, families, and staff that reminds them that they are part of a community of people who support one another. This is one of the many reasons why both Inspiration and Community are two of our Core Values.
Children who are enrolled at a childcare center spend as much, if not more time awake at school each week than they do at home. This is why it is just as important for schools to help promote gender equality as it is for families at home. At Educational Playcare, we encourage children to be who they are and pursue their interests regardless of their gender. Our students enjoy all activities available throughout the day, whether it is playing dress up and caring for a doll, or painting with cars and participating in our fitness program. Choosing not to limit what type of activity or toy a child plays with based on whether it is stereotypically “masculine” or “feminine” allows each of our students the opportunity to reach their full potential by learning skills they may have missed out on simply based on gender labels.
We also encourage all of our students to understand and express their emotions, despite the fact that stereotypically girls are known to be more sensitive, empathic, and compassionate and in touch with their emotions. We begin teaching children how to express their feelings when they are infants through the use of sign language, and continue to do so through various activities, the use of feelings dolls, and reading books that seek to identify and label emotions. This not only helps to minimize frustrations and tantrums for young children, but it also improves their overall emotional development which will benefit them throughout life.
#IWD2020 #IWD #EachforEqual