Prof. Eunice Lumsden talks about the MANDELA model

Professor Eunice Lumsden talks about the MANDELA Model and workbook, which has been developed to support early years leaders in developing belonging for families and staff in their setting’s community. Striving for inclusivity in Early Childhood is crucial if we are to create value-based environments that appreciate that belonging and relationships go hand in hand. Children and adults need to feel and know they are safe. Representation plays an important part here and children need role models and exposure to the rich diversity of our society. The MANDELA Model offers an opportunity to think about these issues and reflect on practice holistically.  It provides a strengths approach framework that acknowledges that if we want to make sustainable changes in our work, the task is hard and an ongoing process. Each of the letters in MANDELA frame questions to help facilitate a deep analysis of practice and address sensitive issues that are integral to any work that focuses on a holistic approach to inclusivity from a place of compassion and care:
  • Make time
  • Acknowledge
  • Needs
  • Differences
  • Educational experiences
  • Life experiences
  • Age


Lumsden. E. (2023) A curriculum that promotes equality and challenges racism and sexism. In Grenier, J. and C. Vollans (ed) Putting the EYFS into practice. London: Sage Publications.

Lumsden, E. (2018) Child protection in the early years: a practical guide London: Jessica Kingsley Publications.

Lumsden, E. (2021) Rethinking early childhood services – Change from within.  Read article here.


Download the interactive MANDELA Model workbook Visit Link
Download the printable MANDELA Model workbook Visit Link