How can families encourage cultural learning?

Cultural learning in children is of paramount importance, as highlighted by the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). During this critical developmental period, young children are highly receptive to their environment and absorb cultural cues, norms, and values from their families, educators, and communities. Exposure to diverse cultures fosters a sense of belonging, respect, and empathy towards others. 

Families play a vital role in encouraging cultural learning in children. Here are some ways you can encourage cultural learning at home and in your early childhood service: 

  1. Embrace Cultural Diversity: Families can actively celebrate and embrace their own cultural heritage while being open to learning about and respecting other cultures. This can be done through festivals, traditions, language, and cuisine.
  2. Role Model Cultural Learning: Parents can serve as role models by actively displaying an interest in diverse cultures and being receptive to new experiences. 
  3. Travel and Explore: Exploring different places, even locally, visit museums, parks, restaurants, exhibitions and cultural festivals. This type of exploration allows children to experience diverse cultures firsthand. It can be eye-opening and leave lasting impressions.
  4. Share with your early education provider:  Share recipes, moments of your unique cultural celebrations and bring in cultural resources for your child to educate their peers and teachers.

In our 360 classrooms, cultural exploration forms a prominent aspect of the program. Our young learners actively engage in diverse cultural experiences, such as cooking, creative arts encompassing dancing, exposure to cultural music, language, and stories. Our program adopts a holistic approach, incorporating the exploration of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Irish, Serbian, Malaysian, Lebanese, New Zealand, Greek, Croatian, Sri Lankan and Filipino cultures, among others observed in the classrooms.

By incorporating cultural learning into early childhood education, we promote inclusive attitudes, enrich children’s understanding of their world, and lay foundations for positive social interactions as they learn and grow. We balance children’s learning about their own cultures with our experiences promoting Indigenous culture through learning setups in the classroom, through Bush School and through guided Dharug language lessons.