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In Practice

Childminders need to consider how they:

• ensure children and families are treated with equality

Many people get confused with the word equality, interpreting it to mean treating everyone the same. It is in fact very different. It is about treating everyone according to their own individual needs and abilities so that they have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. This can mean adapting activities, providing different resources or providing more time for the child to achieve.

Here are a few examples:

A childminder is caring for three children Aged 2, 3 and 4 years. As she operates equality in her setting all the children are able to use the toilet facilities independently. The 4 year old just needs a stool to wash his hands and his childminder has provided wipes so he can wipe his bottom properly. The 3 year old needs a stool to get to the toilet and a toilet trainer seat as well as a stool to reach the wash basin. The 2 year old is too small for the toilet so his minder has provided a potty and asked his mum if he can wear ‘pull ups’ rather than a nappy. All three children are enjoying a feeling of independence, made possible by providing equipment to support their individual needs.


A childminder is caring for a 4 year old who is on the autistic spectrum. She knows that he needs more time than the other children to move onto another activity. She suggests that they all put their shoes on to go to collect the older children from school well in advance, giving him time to be reminded gently and to get used to the idea so that he doesn’t feel rushed and become anxious


A Childminder is caring for a child who is not allowed to eat certain foods under his religion. She takes with her snacks that he is permitted to eat, so that when at toddler groups he can join in the snack time without breaking his religious dietary requirements.


• How equality is promoted and explained to the children

Children can learn about equality of opportunity through play. Childminders need to provide resources that reflect a multicultural environment and positive images that promote different minority groups in a positive manner.
For ideas of activities and resources see our
Equal Opportunities Ideas Page


• challenge inequality

How confident are you that you could challenge a racist, sexist or offensive remark? Children often make remarks, not understanding what they are saying, just repeating what they have heard. It is important to explain to them why it is inappropriate, using language that they will understand.

You may also have to challenge comments made by parents when they are in your setting, or maybe other parents in the playground at school.

• support children with learning difficulties and disabilities

It is important to find out the exact needs of the children in your care and what you will need to support them. The child’s parents will be the best source of support on what their child will need and be able to signpost you to where specialist resources may be obtained. You will need to consider any adaptations you might need to make to your home and when you go out.  You will also need to consider how the other children in your care will react and what support they may need to understand and welcome the child into your setting.  

The provider must take necessary steps

to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


All providers must have and implement an effective policy about ensuring equality of opportunities and for supporting children with learning difficulties and disabilities.

All providers in receipt of Government funding must have regard to the SEN Code of Practice.


Statutory guidance
to which providers should have regard

The policy on equality of opportunities should include:



Equal opportunities policy

Special Needs policy

Special Educational Needs policy

Inclusion Policy


information about how the individual needs of all children will be met;

information about how all children, including those who are disabled or have special educational needs,

will be included, valued and supported, and how reasonable adjustments will be made for them;

a commitment to working with parents and other agencies;

information about how the SEN Code of Practice is put into practice in the provision (where appropriate);

the name of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (in group provision);

arrangements for reviewing, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of inclusive practices;

information about how the provision will promote and value diversity and differences;

information about how inappropriate attitudes and practices will be challenged;

information about how the provision will encourage children to value and respect others.