NYAEYC is committed to consciously centering principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in all of our work. We believe the nature of equity and inclusion work requires continuously examining all programs and practices to ensure the full diversity of the early childhood education field is represented and supported while eliminating bias and dismantling structural barriers built into existing systems.
How do we define diversity, equity, and inclusion in early childhood education?
NYAEYC works in alignment with the NAEYC Position Statement on Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education. We believe that intersectionality is central to the work of early childhood education. We seek to recognize and mitigate the harms of biases and inequities rooted in “race, class, culture, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability, language, national origin, indigenous heritage, religion, and other identities.” (pg 4)
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are embedded into each component of our mission:
We strive to provide supportive learning opportunities for members of the early childhood field to develop knowledge, challenge biases, and learn concrete steps to create more equitable learning environments for young children and their families.
We seek to provide educational opportunities that meet the needs of the full spectrum of the early childhood education profession and field including, but not limited to:
- child care center educators
- child care center directors and administrators
- family child care educators
- preschool through third grade public and charter school educators
- public and charter school administrators and support staff
- professional development providers
- higher education faculty
- key decision makers
We believe that early childhood educators are the experts who should be consulted first, not last, about the legislation, regulations, and guidance that shapes their work. We seek to facilitate opportunities for early childhood educators to be present at decision-making tables, with the goal of ensuring that the full diversity of the profession is represented in these spaces. Whenever possible, we provide additional opportunities for members of the field to effectively advocate for their own needs as well as the needs of young children and their families.
In our advocacy work, we seek to advocate for an end to policies which, via structural racism, disproportionately harm children, families, and educators of color.
Support of the profession
As early childhood education continues to evolve into a defined profession, our role in supporting early childhood educators must evolve with it. Our work involves day-to-day support that allows early educators to succeed in the context of their communities, as well as larger systems support through advocating for increased compensation, equitable funding, and expanding access to higher education.
“All children have the right to equitable learning opportunities that help them achieve their full potential as engaged learners and valued members of society. Thus, all early childhood educators have a professional obligation to advance equity. They can do this best when they are effectively supported by the early learning settings in which they work and when they and their wider communities embrace diversity and full inclusion as strengths, uphold fundamental principles of fairness and justice, and work to eliminate structural inequities that limit equitable learning opportunities.” NAEYC Position Statement on Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education