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Free to Be Me (F2BM) program

The Free to Be Me (F2BM) program works with early childhood centres and aims to create an environment where children can grow up to be whoever they are without the restrictions of gender stereotypes. Access Health & Community takes a whole setting approach, providing centres with organisational support, resources and professional development training to strengthen respectful relationships and gender equity. The resources have been adapted from the City of Darebin ‘Creating Gender Equity in the Early Years’ guide.

There are five resources to be worked through in the program, the completion of which are driven by the champions identified at each centre. These are:

  1. Self-reflection tool for educators
  2. Gender equity assessment tool
  3. Spaces and play assessment tool
  4. Book review tool
  5. Gender equity policy review.

The completion of resources will inform an action plan which the Health Promotion staff assist the centre to write and implement.

Additionally, the book review tool is an online database which allows early years educators to review books from their collection, using a set of criteria which assesses the degree to which they represent diversity and inclusivity. As well as submitting reviews which will contribute to a wider database, educators will be able to look at other book reviews, and may use this to guide them when choosing new books for their collection

Throughout the program, staff work with centres to identify and celebrate achievements in their current practice and determine potential areas for improvement. Recognising that each centre will be at a different stage in terms of gender equitable practices, and ensure that program is tailored to their specific needs.

Take a look at the resource below to find out more about this program that is improving gender equity in early childhood centres.

Resource: Free to Be Me (F2BM) program

Organisation: Access Health & Community

Contact: [email protected]

Topic: Early Years