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Week of Equity Advancement in Early Childhood Education

NJAEYC invites you to participate in NJAEYC’s first annual Week of Equity Advancement. Use the tabs below to find information, activity suggestions, and additional resources for each day of the week of October 5–9, 2020.

For additional information contact us at

Week of Equity Advancement NJAEYC

Today is about making a difference and creating community connections. We encourage you to think about ways to promote change not only within your classroom and early childhood setting but to extend to your community, which will help create a more culturally responsive world.


Raising Awareness in Your Community: Organize cultural events to expose people to different lifestyles. Fairs, festivals, and other events can help your community learn about other cultures, lifestyles, and beliefs. If planning your own event isn’t possible, you could bring your friends or family to one to help them learn more about your values. Other ways to engage other cultures and lifestyles include:

  • Cultural fair: celebrate holidays from different religions, hold a food festival with cuisine around the world, or showcase various forms of dance.
  • Organize a food drive for the local food bank.
  • Ceremonies and celebrations for different religious traditions
  • Invite community leaders to visit your center.
  • Invite community leaders to read a story promoting equity and diversity.


NAEYC presents family engagement in action:

Bright Horizons offers suggestions for parents to help their children learn the value for helping others.

Books that promote diversity:, Anti Racist Books for Babies and Toddlers:


Today you are encouraged to create a platform to begin to have conversations regarding equity and diversity with your staff, children or parents. This inspiring theme is more than just asking parents what holidays they celebrate. It is a deep dive into conversations with your staff or parents about how they feel their culture is represented in the classroom. Brainstorm ways to support teachers in welcoming families in a more culturally responsive way.


Create a Vision Board: Brainstorm ways to support teachers in welcoming families in a more culturally responsive way. Use these ideas to create a vision board that is culturally representative of your staff, children and families at your early childhood setting.


“Building Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: The Role of the Leader”This article is excerpted from Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change (2015), by Louise Derman-Sparks, Debbie LeeKeenan, and John Nimmo, published jointly by Teachers College Press and NAEYC. The book provides a framework and detailed practical strategies for the leader’s role in working strategically with staff, families, and the community to implement an anti-bias approach.

“Reading Your Way to a Culturally Responsive Classroom”Shannon B. Wanless, Patricia A. Crawford

“Culturally Responsive Strategies to Support Young Children with Challenging Behaviors” Charis Lauren Price, Elizabeth A. Steed

“Moving Beyond Anti-Bias Activities: Supporting the Development of Anti-Bias Activities” Lisa P. Kuh, Debbie Leekeenan, Heidi Given, Margaret R. Beneke

Research Based Article on how to break down communication barriers with parents and partner with them. Directly addresses cultural barriers.

Today is a day committed to the early childhood workforce. Celebrate your staff and acknowledge their hard work and dedication, particularly during difficult challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic.


Introduce and discuss NJAEYC’s “Power to the Profession” with your staff. Form a Power to the Profession discussion group focusing on a workforce issue. Create a connection/mentorship with a higher ed institution and form a student group pursuing careers in Early Childhood Education. One goal for the group is to focus on a workforce issue.


NAEYC Power to the Profession

The task on this day will be to focus on how you may begin to think differently about equity and diversity within your classroom. What changes can be made to be more intentional about the way you are teaching young children through various topics. You are encouraged to evaluate your classroom and ask questions such as, “What materials are used in the classroom? “What books are read to the children?”. Take a look around the classroom and challenge yourself to rethink and push outside your comfort zone of how you have always done things before. This activity is a great opportunity to partner with peers and administrative staff to create some positive changes within your school that create a more culturally responsive environment.


Have you and your staff partner with their peers or administrative staff to create some positive changes within their classrooms that create a more culturally responsive environment.


“Building Strong Foundations: Racial Inequity in Policies that Impact Infants, Toddlers, and Families” explores racial disparities, including the policies that drive them, among infants and toddlers and their families. It highlights key examples in recent history and their continued consequences for young children of color and their families. The paper concludes with recommendations to ensure new or reformed policies reduce racial disparities.

Equity Starts Early: Addressing Racial Inequities in Child Care and Early Education Policy explores these critical racial equity issues in major early childhood programs, policies, and systems, including CCDBG, Head Start, and state pre-kindergarten programs.,to%20access%2C%20quality%2C%20and%20the%20early%20childhood%20workforce.

“Alphabet Rockers” make music that makes change and creates safe spaces to shape a more equitable world through hip hop.

“The Love” is a Grammy nominated hip hop album for kids and families. The slogan is “Music That Makes Change” Mission is to inspire American kids and families to stand up to hate and be their brave and beautiful selves through developmentally appropriate music and language.

“The Conscious Kid” is an education, research, and policy organization dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth. Their library of “41 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance” highlight resistance, resilience, and activism, and seek to empower youth to participate in the ongoing movement for racial justice. Children not only need to know what individual, systemic, and internalized racism looks like, they need to know what they can do about it.

To end the week, the task will be to promote NJAEYC’s “Get Out the Vote” campaign. NJAEYC feels strongly that engaging, celebrating, and empowering our culturally diverse families is at the heart of supporting our youngest learners. Greet each family and encourage all to vote through activities and materials that promote participation in the voting process and also the importance of completing the 2020 Census.


Encouraging voting and completing the 2020 Census:• Create a voting booth for your children and families to “practice” voting in your center.• Encourage your families to complete the 2020 Census.• Have materials that inform families the importance of voting and completing the 2020 Census.• Use conversation starters to generate thoughtful and meaningful discussions around diversity and social justice reform.


Information on how to register to vote:

Find everything you need to know in the state election center:

Information on the census:

Making sure NJ counts in 2020:


We Count! Storybooks:

“Edutopia” offers resources for teachers to prepare for cultural diversity in their classrooms.

“Understood” offers suggestions on how to break down common barriers to improve family engagement in your program.

Webinar Series: Racial Justice, Equity and the Role of Child Care:

Our Children Our Workforce Why We Must Talk About Race and Racism in Early Childhood Education, Kelly Matthews and Ijumaa Jordan

Each and Every Child: Teaching Preschool with an Equity Lens Susan Friedman, Alissa Mwenelupembe

Equity Resources: Living the Statement

The resources below are drawn from our partners’ as well as from NAEYC’s own publications. While some provide recommendations and implications for policy makers and administrators, this collection is primarily focused on elevating resources that support educators in teaching for equity. As it is a curated, extensive list—but far from all-inclusive—we encourage you to help it grow by sharing resources that have helped you and your colleagues advance the work of equity in your own early learning programs.