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Bullying and Racism in Childcare Centres

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Overtime and going home late is now a work health and safety issue

Bullying and Racism in a Childcare Setting

Bullying and racism are deeply ingrained in many human societies. Where they once might have been tolerated, even encouraged, these values no longer mesh with the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society Australia enjoys today.

Unfortunately, bullying and racism prevails in many parts of Australia today. Often it is very subtle and insidious. It should not be tolerated; racist or bullying behaviours should be recognised and dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner. It is possible for staff working in a childcare centre, or the children they are caring for, to bully or discriminate based on race.

Possible Indications of racism or bullying

  • • Discriminatory policies and procedures
  • • Racist comments, ridicule or abuse (verbal or written)
  • • Racist propaganda
  • • Refusal to co-operate with people from different groups
  • • Judgements based on stereotypes
  • • Non-inclusive curriculum or teaching practices
  • • Physical assault and harassment

Short terms effects of bullying and racism on children

  • • Feeling anxious and depressed
  • • Withdrawing from others, fear of school / childcare
  • • Tension in learning and playing environments
  • • Silent, withdrawn, not engaging in learning / playing activities
  • • Unable to concentrate
  • • Unable to take risks with learning / playing activities
  • • Poor school / centre attendance
  • • Aggressive or violent reactions
  • • Disruptive behavior
  • • Have trouble making friends
  • • Not speak their first language for fear of being picked on.
  • • Get lower school results
  • • Reject their own culture and parental values
  • • Be confused about their own identity

Long term effects of bullying and racism have on children

  • • Lower school participation rates for students from some cultural and linguistic groups
  • • Lower literacy and numeracy outcomes for students from some cultural and linguistic groups
  • • Lower rates of attendance, participation and retention in education for students from some cultural and linguistic groups
  • • Barriers to employment and further education pathways
  • • Gifts and talents of students from some cultural and linguistic groups are not recognized and or developed.

Tips for dealing with bullies

  • • Talk about it – Talking about it can be a good way of letting out your frustrations that can be built up when being bullied
  • • Don’t get physical – Not only will you be showing the bully your anger, but you do not know what the bully will do in return.
  • • Hold the anger – the bully will want to see your anger or hurt – don’t give them the satisfaction! Think of ways you can use your anger differently – such as: writing about it; drawing or talking to someone.
  • • Practice Confidence – practice feeling good about yourself, and what your reaction to the bully will be. You could possibly even make a joke of what the bully is saying about you – that will catch them off guard.
  • • Take charge of your life – you cannot control other’s actions, but you can control yours. Think about ways to feel your best.
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