Welcoming Immigrant Families to ECE Programs

One of the greatest blessings about working in early childhood education is the broad diversity of the individuals I have the opportunity to serve in my work. There have been many occasions upon which I have welcomed a family into my school after they have recently immigrated from another country. Welcoming these families in a way that is respectful and inclusive is important for laying a foundation of trust with them. Here are the best techniques you can use when on boarding an immigrant family to your program:

  • Forget any and all cultural stereotypes you may have about the country of origin.
  • Prepare yourself to ask a lot of questions and remain very open to the possible answers.
  • Offer translation services for enrollment meetings as well as translated paperwork to the parents.
  • Familiarize yourself with basic greeting customs for the culture.
  • Remember that the culture/language isn’t always the same for one country, be sure you know the region of the country from which the family is immigrating before you start your research.
  • Be aware that physical touch and eye contact may not be the desired approach when greeting.
  • Have additional community resources available to you and to your new family for added support.

The more families from foreign countries you welcome into your school, the more comfortable you will be with the uncertainty that is possible in these situations and the more confident you will feel with helping this family find their way in their new community.

~ by vegucationmama on April 20, 2014.

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