Gender, Sexuality, and the Family
in Early Childhood Education

Workshops for Educators and Families

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For Summer 2018!
Register Now for Summer 2018 Sessions!

June 26th, July 31st, and August 28th. All Sessions are 5pm - 8pm.

Register Now!

The Workshops

For Educators and Early Childhood Professionals
  • Session 1: Gender Development, Expression and Play
  • Session 2: Bodies, Curiosity and Touching
  • Session 3: Including All Families and Supporting All Children
For Parents and Families
 
  • Session 1: Gender Development, Expression and Play
  • Session 2: Bodies, Curiosity and Touching
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Schedule the Workshop Series for Your Program

We'd be happy to offer these workshops to the educators and families in your early childhood program! Read about pricing and scheduling options on the on-site series page fill out the inquiry form, or contact us for more information.

About the Workshops

When and how do children develop an understanding of gender?

How can we encourage children's comfort and respect for their own body and other people's bodies?

How can we include and celebrate the diversity of families and family structures in our programs?


During the preschool years, children begin to develop a conception of gender, sexuality, and family. However, there is often little space to for teachers to talk about the questions and behaviors that come up in their classrooms, or how to explore these concepts with children in their curriculum and pedagogy. Parents and family members often feel in the dark as well, with little opportunity to discuss and collaboratively develop strategies for working with their children or young people.

To open up this conversation, the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute is offering a series of workshops – one set for educators and one set for families – designed to spark discussion, facilitate the creation of shared language, and provide educators and families the resources they need to make their classrooms and homes safe spaces for the development and expansive exploration of identity. By running workshops both for families and educators we hope to engage all members of an early childhood community in supporting each other and the children they care for.

Workshops for Educators and Early Childhood Professionals

Session 1: Gender Development, Expression and Play
Tuesday, June 26th, 5-8pm Register for this session
  • Learn about gender development in young children
  • Develop strategies to facilitate expansive gender performances and to create inclusive classrooms that support a variety of gender expressions
  • Discuss ways to resist the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes

In this workshop, we will learn about and discuss gender development in young children. Through discussions of how rigid gender roles and stereotypes can limit children's growth and self-expression, we will collectively develop and role-play strategies to facilitate expansive gender performances and to create inclusive classrooms which support a variety of gender expressions. We will also discuss a variety of ways to limit the perpetuation of gender stereotypes – from how children are complimented to how the classroom is organized – and how to work with family members who are struggling with their children's gender non-conforming dress or behaviors.

What attendees are saying about session 1:

Session 2: Bodies, Curiosity and Touching
Tuesday, July 31st, 5-8pm Register for this session
  • Learn strategies for teaching consent, respect, and encouraging children’s sense of ownership over their bodies
  • Develop strategies for fostering children’s feelings of comfort about sexuality and their bodies
  • Learn to distinguish signs of abuse and behaviors associated with common childhood exploration

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to reflect on and deconstruct their feelings about children's curiosity and sexual exploration. We will develop strategies for fostering children's feelings of comfort about sexuality and their bodies while setting limits to help children develop a sense of boundaries. We will discuss fears regarding child sexual abuse and learn to distinguish between signs of abuse and childhood exploration. Through readings and role-plays, participants will explore what it means to help children develop healthy relationships and will learn strategies for teaching consent, respect, and encouraging children's sense of ownership over their bodies.

What attendees are saying about session 2:

Session 3: Including All Families and Supporting All Children
Tuesday, August 28th, 5-8pm Register for this session
  • Discuss the importance of representing and including all families in the social and cultural community of early childhood programs
  • Learn the language to use when talking with families and colleagues about different sexual and gender identities
  • Identify curricular opportunities to teach about family diversity and develop strategies for teaching a more expansive understanding of family

In this workshop, we will discuss the importance of supporting children by representing and including all families in the social and cultural community of the program. Focusing specifically on LGBTQ families, this workshop will help educators consider both deliberate and inadvertent messages about belonging contained in their programs' written material, environment, teaching, and educational practices. To create a more inclusive environment in their classrooms and schools, we will introduce concepts and language to talk with families and our staffs about sexual and gender identities, the legal structures that are involved in defining families, and discrimination targeted at people who do not conform to gender or sexual norms. We will also identify curricular opportunities to teach about family diversity and develop strategies and activities to teach children a more expansive understanding of family.

What attendees are saying about session 3:

Workshops for Parents and Families

Session 1: Gender Development, Expression and Play
  • Learn about gender development in young children
  • Develop strategies to facilitate expansive gender performances and to create inclusive classrooms that support a variety of gender expressions
  • Discuss ways to resist the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes

In this workshop, parents and family members will learn about and discuss gender development in young children. Through discussions of how rigid gender roles and stereotypes can limit children's growth and self-expression, participants will collectively develop and role-play strategies to support their children or young family members in an expansive development of identity. We will also discuss a variety of ways to limit the perpetuation of gender stereotypes and how to engage with our children and families around both gender conforming and non-conforming expression. Parents and family members will have the opportunity to work on the specific challenges and questions they have with their young people as well as share strategies and develop a shared language for future discussions.

Session 2: Bodies, Curiosity and Touching
  • Learn strategies for teaching consent, respect, and encouraging children’s sense of ownership over their bodies
  • Develop strategies for fostering children’s feelings of comfort about sexuality and their bodies
  • Learn to distinguish signs of abuse and behaviors associated with common childhood exploration

In this workshop, parents and family members will have the opportunity to reflect on and deconstruct their feelings about children's curiosity and sexual exploration. We will develop strategies for fostering children's feelings of comfort about sexuality and their bodies while setting limits to help children develop a sense of boundaries. We will discuss fears regarding child sexual abuse and learn to distinguish between signs of abuse and childhood exploration. Through readings and role-plays, participants will explore what it means to help children develop healthy relationships and will learn strategies for teaching consent, respect, and encouraging children's sense of ownership over their bodies.