Brief description of the issue
As young children develop, they begin to explore gender roles and what it means to be a boy or a girl. Cultures provide expectations for boys and girls, and children begin learning about gender roles from the norms of their family and cultural background. They also hear messages about gender roles from the broader world around them. Through their interactions and their play exploration, children begin to define themselves and others in many ways, including gender (National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement).
The National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement put together a comprehensive guide about gender identity development and gender stereotypes and expectations for early childhood programs and professionals. It is organized by the following topics:
- What We Know. Learn about the research regarding healthy gender development and important terms.
- What Programs Can Do. Explore strategies for creating a safe and nurturing learning environment for children.
- What You Can Do. Practice responding to children’s feelings about their own and each other’s gender expression.
- Children’s Books That Support Healthy Gender Expression. Find a selection of children’s books for children ages 2 and up.
- Related Resources and Selected References. Discover resources and references about healthy gender development and young children.
Click here to download it from their website or download it from our documents section just below.
NATIONAL CENTER ON PARENT, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. Healthy Gender Development and Young Children: A Guide for Early Childhood Programs and Professionals, accessible at: https://depts.washington.edu/dbpeds/healthy-gender-development.pdf