Early childhood education experts specializing in multicultural education provide early childhood education professionals with new tools for working with multicultural children.

Multicultural children need support in early childhood education and attention to cultural diversity. Children need support, especially in experiencing equality in a group of children and in constructing cultural and linguistic identities.

Diakonia University of Applied Sciences responds to the need with a new online training program that enables early childhood education professionals to specialize in multicultural early childhood education. The training provides professionals with the latest researched and professional knowledge of multicultural child development, as well as promoting development and learning.

According to Marjaana Marttila-Ojala, a lecturer in social work at Diakonia University of Applied Sciences, the training is beneficial for all early childhood education professionals interested in developing their multicultural skills.

"Many early childhood education professionals feel they need new tools to support children and families from different backgrounds. The training uses a systemic approach, where the child's growth environment is considered comprehensively," Marttila-Ojala explains.

First-time implementation of the training program

The specialization training is aimed at graduates of higher education degrees, such as social workers and education graduates, or those who have completed pre-degree studies at universities of applied sciences, such as social educators. Applicants must have work experience in early childhood education or child and family services.

The 30-credit online training program will begin in September 2023 and end in May 2024. It will be held for the first time in the coming academic year. The application period for the training program ends on April 16, 2023.

The training program consists of six study modules, which cover, among other things, a culturally sensitive approach to work, guidance for multicultural groups of children, supporting multicultural families, and equality.

The training program is being implemented in cooperation with Diakonia University of Applied Sciences, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, and Tampere University of Applied Sciences.

In conclusion, the Diakonia University of Applied Sciences' new online training program offers early childhood education professionals the opportunity to specialize in multicultural education, enabling them to provide the necessary support to children and families from different backgrounds. With the training program's implementation, professionals will acquire the latest researched knowledge and tools to promote equality and construct cultural and linguistic identities among multicultural children in early childhood education.