Should 3 Races Of Dolls Be Mandatory At All Daycare Centers?

Colorado is leading the way in attempting to make the early education of our youngest little citizens as diverse as possible. They actually are trying to do something to make what our children see in their classrooms every day a closer representation to the reality of our country. Some people are ecstatic……others not so much. This is quite an interesting story. Check it out.

From The ROOT:

The state of Colorado has proposed a long list of new regulations for day care centers, including a requirement that they provide dolls of at least three different races (not to mention other rules governing issues including the amount of juice and snack served, and providers’ shoulder coverage).

Some childcare providers in the state aren’t too happy about it. One daycare owner told a local news station why she’s against the proposal: “They are infringing on a lot of our rights. […] We’re not giving parents a choice. We’re not giving children a choice. We’re not giving caregivers a choice.”

We’d hope that daycare providers would want to make doll choices reflecting what the country actually looks like. Really, why wouldn’t you? And is it that hard? But we all know that that’s not where inclusion and equality begin or end (Remember the Kenneth Clark doll study, which has been recreated in recent years? Most of those black kids didn’t seem particularly inspired by the black doll. In fact, other parts of their experience in the real world made them dislike it) And any discussion of race and ethnicity issues in the context of playtime feels almost silly given the ongoing educational disparities faced by kids of color in this country.

As this story develops, we predict a sideshow of a debate the government “infringing on rights,” and a backlash against multiculturalism that distract from real issues of equality that have nothing to do with the toy corner.

4 replies
  1. always thinkin'
    always thinkin' says:

    I think daycare providers will make whatever options available as deemed necessary by their customers. I wonder how many parents have gone to their child daycare provider and requested black dolls be included with the toys in the instances when they are not?

    Sometimes passing regulations and laws can in essence diminish our sense of civic/societal responsibility by creating an "entitlement by law" attitude. At the same time….I think we should support this and ensure that a BO&O doll maker is in position to provide this service in Colorado.
    The law rules the land and it's a capitalist society!

  2. Jakki
    Jakki says:

    I don't think is should be mandated. Unfortunately, it would have to be in order to see this type of consideration for other cultures across the board. I believe, if you serve a diverse community its only right that you have educational or play items that represent each child. I think the teaching should begin at home and that means you might have to supply your child with the educational tools or dolls that look like her yourself. I definitely think it is important to celebrate the beauty of all cultures, and teach that to our children early on.

  3. Denise
    Denise says:

    I think I appreciate the effort, but I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all solution to promoting diversity and inclusion. For that reason, I'm against the MANDATE to provide dolls of other colors and wish it were rather an encouragement or suggestion. Without any substantive discussions (especially in the home) about race equality, those same kids will grow up with the same issues and poisons, regardless of what doll they played with when they were little. I think providers and parents should be able to work together to address these issue with sensitivity to how they arise and consideration of the social context in which these kids exist. Good intentions, bad execution.
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