Name of Project: Respecting Difference Programme
Lead Partner: Early Years
Grant Awarded: £143,088
The Respecting Difference Programme is an early intervention evidence-based programme targeting 0-5 year old children across the North West Cluster area. The aim has been to increase awareness of diversity and promote positive attitudes among children in the pre-school age groups, as well as their key influencers (parents, childcare and nursery staff), and importantly, promoting positive parenting in the home. Following on from the Early Years successful Media Initiative Campaign for Children, each participating playgroup receives a Resource Box which uses the popular animated characters of Jim, Jenny, Tom, Kathleen, Bukola and Kim, and includes puppets, jig-saw puzzles and games depicting a wide range of cultural events and symbols, including those associated with the Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland.
To date 38 pre-school settings including Surestart, day care, voluntary playgroups and nursery units are participating in the project. Two dedicated Early Years Specialists have been employed to deliver the project and provide support and training to 349 Early Year practitioners, who have been trained to deliver this programme on an ongoing basis within their own Early Year setting. Through the training and the use of these resource boxes children are encouraged to explore, experience and respect a range of different cultures and traditions and appreciate diversity.
Throughout the lifetime of the project 60 parent workshops will be delivered, with each parent receiving a parent pack, allowing them to become familiar with the programme, as well as exploring their own values and attitudes to cultural diversity and respecting difference. Through these resources and training parents are able to have more meaningful engagement with their children at home and be confident in addressing issues such as challenging prejudice. This programme will improve children’s socio-emotional development and awareness and respect for cultural diversity by enabling parents to be influential in relation to their children’s attitudes and general level of awareness.
The Legacy Celebration Events Programme is a project supported by the European Union's PEACE III Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivered by the North West PEACE III Partnership of Derry City Council, Omagh District Council, and Strabane District Council.