Creating Affirming Environments


In opening my own Family Child Care Home, I would want the center to evoke a “homey,” comfortable feel, similar to Adriana Castillo’s center (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). I would fill the space with soft, calming colors and would want different areas designated around the center to parallel areas in Castillo’s child care home, such as a welcome or greeting area, living room, calming room (“nap room”), and dramatic play area (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). I envision having a library or reading nook area with a basket of persona dolls to help infuse anti-bias education into reading and discussions (Derman-Sparks and Edwards, 2010). This is an area I would like to incorporate a multitude of books emphasizing various cultures and ethnicities and that emphasize anti-bias perspectives (Derman-Sparks and Edwards, 2010). In the dramatic play area, I would want to include dress-up clothes reflective of the children’s ethnicities as well as a play kitchen with utensils, containers, and food indicative of children’s cultures and home life.

I love Castillo’s idea of having a note section in which parents can record how their child is doing, any major changes they are experiencing, how they slept the night prior, and anything else the parent feels comfortable sharing in order to better meet the child’s needs for that particular day or week (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). In the living room area, I envision photographs of the children’s families, framed with colorful child-created frames. I would love this to be an area with soft pillows and blankets with baskets of books and toys, similar to many children’s living rooms at their homes. I think this would help cultivate a sense of safety and welcoming atmosphere. In the calm room or area, I would play soft instrumental music from various cultures in order to help soothe children who are distressed or trying to rest. Similar to my current classroom, I would want this kind of music playing upon the children entering the center, to help cultivate a soothing atmosphere.

To ensure that every child and family feels welcomed and accepted, I would want to meet with them regularly in order to facilitate conversations in which parents are able to communicate their goals for their children and provide insight into how child care workers can provide optimal support for their children. I would also like to provide opportunities in which families can visit the center and bring elements from their family culture to share with the children at the center.


Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: NAEYC.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). Welcome to an anti-bias learning community. [DVD]. Strategies for working with diverse children. Baltimore, MD: Author


One thought on “Creating Affirming Environments

  1. Hello Renee,

    The dramatic play area is important element for classroom settings. In this area children can act out roles that are affiliated with their culture. Cooking, for instance, children pretend to make meals that relates to their ethnicity (ex: an African-American child, whose family devotes Kwanza, can, “cook” meals in reflection to the holiday. In this type of strategy children can learn traditional meals and etc. “Children must feel safe, loved and nurtured to develop the basic trust they need for healthy development.” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p.52).

    Tanya Terrell


    Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, 52. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


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