Equality & Diversity In Early Years Essay

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Discuss equality and diversity in early years practice

The purpose of this essay is to give the reader an insight into equality and diversity in early years practice. There will be some information on the history of discrimination, Acts and Legal documents will be looked at including the EYFS, Surestart, Green Papers, Ofsted and Government websites. The outcomes for different groups that have been discriminated against and how effective the policies have been and how they have affected practice.

Groups of people who might be discriminated against include, but are not exhaustive, homeless people or travellers, females, homosexuals, disabled people, people of a different race, different religions and beliefs, all historically were given few legal rights.

Equality is the state of being equal (Pearson, 1999) but is not to be confused with uniformity and does not mean to be the same. Equality is not about making everyone the same; difference (diversity) is good.

Some history of discrimination to the people mentioned above include: women were considered to be less responsible, not so able and less important than their male counterparts until the early twentieth century, improvements were seen with women being able to vote but social and legal inequalities slowly changed in the second half of this century (Lindon, 2006). Homosexuality was illegal before about 1950 when it was decriminalised, with lesbianism not acknowledged until the early 19th Century [Stonewall, no date). The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 came into force with several amendments since then. This Act made significant changes to employers and employees including small business employers becoming exempt as well as occupational exclusions, for example the police, prison officers and barristers, with further amendments more recently (Great Britain. Legislation, 1995). The Race Relations Act 1976 protects all racial groups regardless of their colour, ethnic or national origins, nationality...

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