Inclusion and equality in early years

The importance of representation within the early years is a frequent subject of discussion.

Southampton City Council's Early Years and Childcare Service are committed to stand up against racism and promote racial diversity and inclusion. Our aims are to support our service and the early years sector with:

  • Supporting colleagues, children and families to identify and challenge racism and discrimination
  • Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion among our staff and by championing the rights and needs of children and adults in the communities we serve
  • Working within the Equality Act to ensure that everyone is treated fairly based on their protected characteristics
  • Sharing key messages and resources that promote equality, inclusion and diversity
  • Supporting anti-racist practice in the early years


During their early years, a child’s personality and attitude are being shaped. Children are influenced by their environment and the adults around them in ways which often affect their own ideas about themselves.

When it comes to gender and sexual orientation, young children can develop stereotypical ideas about how they should behave and what kind of person they should become. This can limit their potential.

It is important to not avoid having conversations about these topics. Instead, challenge the effects of prejudice and discrimination. This extends to resources provided to children which should avoid stereotypical depictions of people on the basis of their gender and sexual orientation.

Reporting incidents or discrimination and pathway

Key messages for parents