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KinderRijk and its cultures

17 May 2023

The KinderRijk locations are situated in the Amstelveen and Amsterdam regions. These two regions are characterised by a wonderful melting pot of cultural diversity. The two cities have as many as 142 nationalities! KinderRijk embraces every culture, because they inspire us and enhance our knowledge!

KinderRijk gives ‘Space to every child’ every day.

This sounds good, open and inclusive. We believe that every child, parent and staff member should feel welcome at our locations. Yet, how do we go about this in practice? How do we give space to each child’s cultural background?

Respectful and inquisitive
Culturally-sensitive efforts are quite a job. Culturally-sensitive efforts involve asking questions without judgement and eagerness to learn to know about each other. This is demanding on all the parties involved and an ongoing process of meeting each other. Reciprocity, an open attitude and interest in each other are the focal point. We have an open mind to each other’s similarities and differences.
After all, the standards and values which our children grow up with differ from family to family. Educational staff have a trove of experience in welcoming children and parents in a respectful way every day. They moreover work together with the parents to harmonise parenting and support.
Of course, educational staff members are happy to explain which values and standards are highly rated at KinderRijk and how this is reflected in the way we view children. Examples include the educational methods, the way we promote independence, learning through play, sleeping, eating, etc. In addition, the staff’s own standards and values also play a role.

Empathise and understand
Space for every child therefore includes space for every culture. The fact that children recognise themselves and therefore feel safe in their group is a vital aspect. Emotional safety is therefore one of the basic goals in childcare.
This is addressed in many ways at KinderRijk. Your input as a parent is invaluable in this respect. Joining in with the celebration of religious festivities, giving objects from home a prominent place in the care location’s home corner, involving parents in theme-based activities and skin-coloured crayons in more than 10 shades are some examples. A family photo wall and a world map on the wall also help to make children feel safe and secure. They can tell us and show us, so we will understand and they will be understood.

Speaking each other’s language
Language is an essential factor to understanding each other properly. In case of a language barrier, the educational staff make an extra effort to let the communication run as smoothly as possible. Most educational staff members are reasonably proficient in English. KinderRijk provides extra English language courses. Communication with parents can also be assisted with leaflets and pictograms. A list of such pictograms is available in every group at KinderRijk. Should the language still be a stumbling block, an interpreter can be used in consultation with the parent.

Sharing knowledge
Knowledge of and experience with cultural diversity and culturally-sensitive efforts are key starting points for KinderRijk. We have designed an extensive module on the use of culturally-sensitive methods in KinderRijk’s digital learning environment. At any given moment, educational staff can find all kinds of information here about current issues in their group. During KinderRijk’s Seminar Day, staff had the opportunity to share ideas with each other. Interesting tips are being shared (between different locations and teams) on our intranet, which are invaluable!

In conclusion
Needless to say that in this way, we are working towards a solid foundation, where we are all seen, heard and appreciated. This is indeed an invitation to the parents to feel free and at ease. KinderRijk supports and encourages this!