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Old 07-17-2019, 06:11 AM
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Default Celebrations and Holiday Policy

I am now required to add a section to my handbook entitled "Celebrations and Holiday Policy".

It is to be listed in between "Multiculturalism" and "Non-Discrimination".

The description is "Encourages an enhanced understanding of and respect for different cultures and beliefs of children, families, staff, and community."

Can you share yours if you have one? How would you word this if you were required? TIA
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
I am now required to add a section to my handbook entitled "Celebrations and Holiday Policy".

It is to be listed in between "Multiculturalism" and "Non-Discrimination".

The description is "Encourages an enhanced understanding of and respect for different cultures and beliefs of children, families, staff, and community."

Can you share yours if you have one? How would you word this if you were required? TIA
I will be following this for future use as well!
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:52 AM
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These are the "helpful hints".
  • "Omit all or part of holiday activities and celebrations from the curriculum. This type of policy can also make sense when used to eliminate activities and celebrations designed for older audiences that preschoolers cannot understand."
  • "Display a multi-cultural calendar to help all families stay aware of important cultural events for the rest of the year. Treat the needs of different families about religious or holiday celebrations with flexibility. Consider offering floating holidays as part of your paid holiday schedule."
  • "Anti-bias early education and holiday celebrations: Staying neutral. Implement a “staying neutral” policy. Not only does this policy address holidays based on a particular religion, it means no birthday celebrations, Halloween costume parades, Valentine exchanges or Thanksgiving feasts. Staying neutral is a great way to truly follow an anti-bias curriculum based on developmentally appropriate practices."

My clients would freak if I cut out our celebrations. It is a big draw, here. If I don't do it I lose points on my ratings and state listing, injuring my business. It seems I can't win either way, here. Thoughts?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:09 AM
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I think this is the source of the push - http://www.childcarequarterly.com/pd...04_holiday.pdf

"In this article, we propose that programs develop a policy for celebrating holidays based on core values and ethical principles.

A holiday policy can lead to teaching practices that enhance our understanding of, and respect for, the different cultures and beliefs of children, families, staff, and community."
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:15 AM
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This is part of my program policy info for parents:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FRU...ew?usp=sharing

Maybe that is helpful or atleast provides a starting point for you.....
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:41 PM
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Thank you! That helps immensely.

I've been rolling around in my head all day a way to meet both goals. I was considering a "6 to party, 1 to no-go" policy. I can only enroll 6 kids = 6 votes. It is what they use in med aviation, seems to apply the same, here. Every one of my current clients are Baptist, so to not celebrate something my clients are 100% engaged in seems silly. Parent Engagement was all the rage not two years ago.

IDK, if my rationale will fly. Worth a try?

Will it be discriminating against one child families? I never know what they are going to hit me with next.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:25 PM
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Sorry I got nothing when I tried to come up with something to help. All I could think is "Reason #578 I refuse to do anything with FCCRS/ QRIS/ Excelerate or whatever the heck IL is calling it now.

To me this is a classic example of my "Oh #$%^!" rule. If someone tells me something and I think "Yeah" or "Nope" we can probably find a common point to work from to get something mutually agreeable. But if my first thought is a combined with thinking "Oh @#$%!" I'm not wasting my time with it.

Good luck with that one.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:37 PM
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I don't do any holidays, but I do let the family bring something on a bday if they want to- I don't tell them to or ask them to or anything. It's fine, we don't have any that don't do bdays (like witnesses or anything).
I prefer to do everything according to natural seasons not religious holidays. So instead of Easter themed time is spring and instead of Christmas, it's winter etc. Celebrations are things like Stone Soup in the Fall, going with the theme of harvest season and sharing with friends and family (goes with the idea of Thanksgiving, but not involving it). And we do family snack time every three months which has been great and that's where we all get together and enjoy snack and playtime and families chit-chat but doesn't have the holiday implications of a Christmas party or Easter party or Valentine's party etc.

I began doing it this way when I worked with a witness and I thought it made sense to eliminate all all holidays in my own program since I myself am atheist anyway. Then when I learned more about nature curriculum and following seasons, I moved more of that in.

They did do holidays at the college I went to for ECE. They did rotating holidays each year. So one year they did all certain ones and tried to be diverse of course (for example dia de Los muertos in October for year one and Halloween for October for year two, etc). That way they thought they were inclusive while also keeping holidays because holidays are a big part of the child's life and experience when it's happening. To me, it's just not big, I don't like it. So, I choose to do none and "Celebrate Life Everyday" as my friend quoted her daughter once.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:36 PM
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In my program, we don't decorate for/host any of the holiday parties. Instead, we invite families at the beginning of the year to come in and share important family/cultural celebrations with us. As a non-religious person, this feels a lot more authentic to me. We've had families bring in nativity sets for children to play with during Christmas, or come to school dressed up for Diwali and share coloring pages. One family cooked latkes for the class during Hanukkah (yum!). Some families donate books about important holidays and traditions for them.

It's more special for the children this way and a great way for families to share important parts of their home culture at school.The program is able to remain "neutral" as someone else said while not trying to erase these important celebrations. It's also a lot less work for us to have the families take the lead! This is all written about in our handbook as well.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:01 PM
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I say in my policies that in wanting to celebrate all families and cultures please let me know of any holidays or traditions your family participates in. I have also point blank asked people if they celebrate this or that and if they say NO I ask them what they do celebrate (an extension of my policy wording). I also have a calendar with all of the celebrations on it. Every year for “Canada week” we celebrate multiculturalism on one of these days. I get books from the library and we talk about it. I try to incorporate as much of it in daily play as I can as well.

No idea if any of this helps you
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:45 PM
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I work at a center. We just hand out a "holiday fun" form asking parents what they celebrate. We try to cover any holiday celebrated by families and staff. We let the parents know we will celebrate hoidays in our program and send home a information sheet on the holiday and how we will celebrate. We try to keep it from being super religious. We celebrate Hanukkah, christmas, Ramadan, Kwanzaa and Santa Lucia day. We try to get someone to come in for holidays celebrated by families. We have a parents come in and share in the celebrations, usually by reading a story ect.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
These are the "helpful hints".
  • "Omit all or part of holiday activities and celebrations from the curriculum. This type of policy can also make sense when used to eliminate activities and celebrations designed for older audiences that preschoolers cannot understand."
  • "Display a multi-cultural calendar to help all families stay aware of important cultural events for the rest of the year. Treat the needs of different families about religious or holiday celebrations with flexibility. Consider offering floating holidays as part of your paid holiday schedule."
  • "Anti-bias early education and holiday celebrations: Staying neutral. Implement a “staying neutral” policy. Not only does this policy address holidays based on a particular religion, it means no birthday celebrations, Halloween costume parades, Valentine exchanges or Thanksgiving feasts. Staying neutral is a great way to truly follow an anti-bias curriculum based on developmentally appropriate practices."

My clients would freak if I cut out our celebrations. It is a big draw, here. If I don't do it I lose points on my ratings and state listing, injuring my business. It seems I can't win either way, here. Thoughts?
I wrote a big paragraph about my true feelings about this level of micromanagement then I erased it. It just came out so negative. Sorry.

And I think our state is going to start QRIS. Words cannot describe.
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birthday, celebrations and holiday policy, christmas, easter, halloween, holiday parties, holiday policy, independence day, saint patrick's day, thanksgiving, valentine's day

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