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If 'Every Child Matters', Why’s This Still Happening In Our Schools & Hospitals?

If 'Every Child Matters', Why’s This Still Happening In Our Schools & Hospitals?

The 2003 ‘Every Child Matters’ policy and the ‘Children Act’ of 2004 are two important policies implemented by the UK government’ to ensure every child is provided with the support, guidance, and services they need to thrive. In a nutshell, these policies aim is to ensure all children living in the UK are healthy, safe, make a positive contribution, and are able to achieve economic well-being.

However, the noticeable absence of multicultural toys in our schools, hospitals, and other public children services is cause for major concern — because not only does this lack hinder children's development, it also contradicts the stated goals of these important policies.

The Importance of Every Child Matters Policy

Toys play a crucial role in children’s development. They help them develop their cognitive, social, and emotional skills and learn about the world around them. When children have access to toys that reflect their cultural and racial identity, it fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion. It allows them to see themselves represented and validated, boosting their self-esteem and confidence.

On the other hand, when they do not have access to toys they can identify with, children can develop feelings of exclusion and low self-esteem that negatively impact their ability to learn and process information.

The Role of Multicultural Toys in Children's Development

Furthermore, research has shown that exposure to multicultural toys positively impacts cognitive development. According to Piaget's theory of cognitive development, children actively construct their own understanding of the world. When they engage with toys that mirror their cultural and racial identity, it helps them form mental schemes that align with their experiences. This, in turn, enhances their ability to learn, process information, and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the world.

Cognitive Development and Multicultural Toys

Extensive research also consistently shows that when children have access to a diverse range of toys, it positively impacts their perception of diversity and fosters a strong sense of self-worth. By engaging with multicultural toys, children develop a profound appreciation for their cultural and racial identity. They feel a sense of pride and connection to their community, which contributes to their overall self-esteem and well-being.

Additionally, the benefits of multicultural toys extend well beyond self-esteem. They play a significant role in helping children develop empathy and understanding towards individuals from different backgrounds. When children interact with toys that represent diverse cultures, it sparks curiosity and promotes a deeper understanding of others. This, in turn, helps children develop essential social skills that are crucial for building positive and inclusive relationships.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the scarcity of multicultural toys in schools, hospitals, and other public service settings for children negatively impacts children’s development and growth, and openly contradicts the goals outlined in the UK government’s ‘Every Child Matters’ and the ‘Children Act’ policies.

Therefore, it’s crucial for policymakers and educators to recognise the significance of multicultural toys in children's development. By providing children with toys that reflect their cultural and racial identity, we can help them develop positive attitudes towards diversity, nurture social skills, and instill a sense of pride in their heritage.

At MeBe, we advocate for the inclusion of multicultural toys in schools, hospitals, and other public children service settings. By embracing diversity through play, we empower children to appreciate and celebrate their unique backgrounds, promoting a more inclusive and harmonious society.

Let us work together to ensure every child has access to toys that reflect their cultural and racial identity, and let us witness the positive impact it has on their growth and development. Together, we can create a world where every child feels valued and supported on their journey to a fulfilling life.

Because every child matters.

Ade Shokoya

About the Author:

Ade Shokoya is the founder of MeBe, a toy company dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity. MeBe offers a wide range of multicultural toys that empower children and encourage inclusive play. Ade's vision is to create a more inclusive world where every child can see themselves represented in the toys they play with. By providing toys that reflect different racial and cultural backgrounds, MeBe aims to foster healthy self-esteem and unlock the true potential of children through imaginative and inclusive play experiences. With a strong commitment to social impact, Ade is shaping MeBe to be a catalyst for positive change in the toy industry and beyond.

 

Sources:

  1. Every Child Matters - www.gov.uk
  2. Cognitive Development: Piaget and Other Theorists
  3. Explore Psychology - 7 Child Development Theories
  4. The Guardian - Are gendered toys harming childhood development?
  5. Bournemouth University - How culture influences children’s development

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