The GEC | EYhome project launched at the start of quarantine in the UK, providing expert-approved Early Years activities to the families stuck at home through the lockdown. By the end of quarantine, GEC | EYhome included 80 activities, contributed by award-winning authors, inspirational Early Years educators, activity clubs, and even a farm.
“As an educator and parent, I knew that lockdown would require interactive activities in the home. These needed an inclusive focus,” says Nic Ponsford, the Co-CEO and founder of the Gender Equality Collective. “My work with several of our GEC Collective members means that I am all too aware of the issues around diversity and inclusion, across all sectors and phases of education. However equality in Early Years is key for me, as I feel we can embed the most impact there.”
Introducing the Gender Equality Collective
GEC started two years ago as a community to advocate for gender equality and inclusion across the board, from everywhere from corporate boardrooms to nursery classrooms. With Early Years families and educators in need of structure and home learning during lockdown, Nic saw an opportunity to extend GEC’s mission of diversity and equity to children. Cue ‘EYhome’.
“We’re very proud of our work here, and we’re genuinely thrilled to be able to house GEC | EYhome within Famly from now on. We would love to know this is a help to others and accessible to all, and we also hope this helps get a larger community to join us in helping homes, businesses and schools learning and smashing stereotypes.”
-Nic Ponsford, Co-CEO and founder of the Gender Equality Collective
After Nicole and GEC completed the ’EYhome’ collection, they were kind to share all these wonderful, Early Years-certified activities with Famly. Now we’re able to share their videos on our blog and within our app, where hundreds of thousands of practitioners and parents can now access these excellent resources.
Down below, you can take a look at a few of the new EYhome activities, made by GEC member and Famly contributor Ruth Swailes. But before we launch into that, here’s a little bit about the Gender Equality Collective, the GEC | EYhome project, and how we plan on spreading their great work even further.
Why families in lockdown needed an Early Years resource
Nic is an ex-teacher, a parent to twin preschoolers and a Primary-aged SEND child, and already works within remote learning. So when lockdown started, she immediately saw the problems and solutions that came with it.
“I knew the littlest of our learners would struggle to get high quality remote teaching, and the parents would feel this too. Having limited time and resources at home, and children who need a lot of support meant getting creative with what was already in the home,” Nic says. “From my discussions with other Early Years educators, I knew that having smaller groups of key workers’ children would mean changing routines, and a need for even more fun than usual.”
Largely speaking, the government’s response to the coronavirus left much of the Early Years sector feeling overlooked. This wasn’t just a problem for the educators, but also for the millions of children and families at home. GEC | EYhome rose up to fill that learning gap, and to provide support while promoting greater inclusivity in early learning.
Promoting gender equality and Early Years empowerment
We learn bias at a young age. The activities and resources we give to children shape their idea of how the world works, and their place in it — so it’s critical that we paint a picture that’s enabling for everyone.
In the EYhome collection, GEC took special care to include diverse voices in their activity videos. Within the Early Years sector, part of this was including male educators. For a sector that overwhelmingly employs women, it’s important for children to see that child care isn’t just women’s work. The GEC | EYhome activity collection takes care to be accessible for children with disabilities, both physical and developmental. Plus the collection needed to be freely accessible, to extend learning across socioeconomic boundaries.
“Being gender-equal was our starting point, but full inclusion is intersectional,” Nic says. “We made sure our contributors made their exercises and activities accessible to all identities and backgrounds.”
How did the GEC | EYhome initative support families?
We’ll let the parents, educators and settings speak for themselves on this one. Here’s what people are saying about GEC | EYhome so far:
What’s inside the EYhome activity project
The GEC | EYhome project is a collection of 80 remote learning activities, all created and approved by expert Early Years educators.
“The team and I decided early on that early years practitioners, parents and the little learners all deserved the best. Therefore we made sure that we personally looked over everything — from the language used to how the activities met the EYFS framework,” Nic says.
Here are a few examples from GEC member and Famly contributor Ruth Swailes of what you’ll find inside the new GEC | EYhome activities.
All About My House
Moving forward with GEC | EYhome
We’re proud and happy to be a part of this project, and we’ll be sharing more of these great activities in the weeks and months to come. If you’d like to get access to the whole GEC | EYhome collection right now, you can sign up for a free trial of Famly today.
The Gender Equality Collective is always looking for more experts and organisations to partner with in their mission. If you’re looking to get involved or want to follow what they’re up to, you can visit them at their website or check out @gendercollect on Twitter.
Official Danish Government Reopening Advice
Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.
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