There are 2 main models of practice underpinning equality diversity and inclusion: the “equal opportunities model” and the “difference and diversity model”.
1) EQUAL OPPORTUNITES MODEL
• Everyone should be the same and not treated differently on the basis of irrelevant criteria.
• Disadvantages and barriers should be removed when possible.
• Positive interventions should be implemented to nullify disadvantages caused by barriers.
• It identifies barriers
• It actively works to overcome them.
• It is based on laws and regulations
• It may be very intrusive and impose penalties
2) DIFFERENCE AND DIVERSITY MODEL
• Differences are valued: they are something to celebrate and not to be threatened by based on 4 principles.
• People function best when valued.
• People feel valued when their individual needs and group differences are taken into account.
• People can learn from differences and be empowered.
People who are empowered can work independently in my current setting; my managing director is responsible for ensuring that all individuals, their families, members of staff and those she is working in partnership with, are treated equally. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.
Within the child care setting there is a range of policies which formally sets out guidelines and procedures for ensuring equality. The equal opportunity policy takes into account the rights of all individuals and groups within the settings.
In my setting my manager role is to promote equality and uphold individual’s equality of opportunity, individual rights and choice, their privacy, individuality, independence, dignity and respect. We also promote equality of care, and confidentiality. In practice we support individual wherever needed, inclusion, adapted activities and specialist equipment catering to the individual child’s needs. We support inclusion by ensuring that children and young people, whatever their background or situation, are able to participate fully in all aspects of the life of the program. Inclusive practices ensure that everyone feels valued and has a sense of belonging. Inclusion in our settings is about providing the same opportunities and access to high quality education as well as valuing differences as something we can learn and be empowered from rather than threatened (“difference and diversity model”).