Bright Ideas

Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education

Emilian Geczi

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is finalizing its position statement on advancing equity in early childhood education. The draft states that:

All children have the right to equitable learning opportunities that help them achieve their full potential as engaged learners and valued members of society. As a result, all early childhood educators have a professional obligation to advance equity. 
They can do this best when they, the early learning settings in which they work, and their wider communities embrace diversity and inclusivity as strengths, uphold fundamental principles of fairness and justice, and work to eliminate structural inequities that limit equitable learning opportunities. 

The Natural Start Alliance invites all of its members to review the position statement's recommendations for educators, administrators, teacher educators, and policymakers. NAEYC is also collecting feedback on the draft statement through April 5.

Here at Natural Start, we especially appreciate the statement's recognition that advancing equity begins with individual professionals' self-reflection and commitment to learning, but that it must continue with a 360-degree examination of program expectations, practices, curriculum, and policies, as well as with working across organizations to challenge policies, laws, systems, and institutional practices that keep social inequities in place. We are commited to continuing to help build the capacity of the nature-based early childhood education field to address biases at all of these levels and promote equitable nature-based learning opportunities for all young children.