ECA WebWatch – Issue 109 March 2011

ECA WebWatch

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The best of early childhood news!

Welcome to the latest issue of the award winning ECA WebWatch. This issue features schools.

In this issue:

  • Save the children—New Zealand earthquake
  • SchoolAid launches the ‘Christchurch earthquake emergency appeal’
  • National Quality Framework consultation forums
  • government investment in child care making a difference for families
  • investing in public education—the way to the future
  • My School 2.0 now live
  • how planning and reflection develop children’s thinking skills
  • designing the human environment: Connecting with children
  • weird, wacky and wonderful (facts about animals)
  • national professional standards for teachers
  • accessing and using the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) data
  • windows of opportunity—WA 2011 Early childhood education and care conference
  • 2011 Queensland Education Resources Expo
  • children's place on the agenda... past, present and future—NIFTeY and the Centre for Community Child Health conference
  • national playgroup week—March 20–26.

Plus regular ECA WebWatch items:

  • EYLF Professional Learning Program update
  • ECA Greenwatch
  • ECA Facebook
  • quality–assured early childhood resources

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About Early Childhood Australia

Appeals

Save the children—New Zealand earthquake

The earthquake in Christchurch has left vast areas of the city without a water supply, sanitation or electricity, not to mention devastation to families, homes and schools. Save the Children are working with the local authorities to meet the needs of Christchurch children. To support this work donate to the Children's Emergency Fund.

SchoolAid launches the ‘Christchurch earthquake emergency appeal’

The Australian organisation SchoolAid is is asking Australian schools to support the ‘Christchurch earthquake emergency appeal’. It’s a great way to both help the communities affected and to empower Australian children to make a difference.


National Quality Framework consultation forums

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, together with state and territory education departments and Early Childhood Australia, are running free consultation forums on the National Quality Framework during March 2011.

So far the extremely successful NQF consultation forums have been taking place in cities and regional centres in Vic. Further locations and dates for the NQF consultation forums can be accessed here.

It is hoped that the sessions will stimulate discussion and feedback on the draft regulations and the reforms more broadly, to ensure the regulations work in a practical way.

Pre-registration is required. To register online please click here. If you do not register online, we will request sign in at the session. Registration opens 30 minutes prior to the start of the forum.

Change of venue for Darwin sessions!

The National Quality Framework consultation forums in Darwin on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 and Friday 25 March 2011, have been moved. The new venue is: Darwin Convention Centre, Stokes Hill Road, Darwin NT 0800.

Although further changes to the schedule are not expected, please ensure that you check your session before you attend.


EYLF Professional Learning Program update

EYLF Professional Learning Workshops—register now

Registration for the 65 EYLF PLP Workshops around Australia is open and some locations have already reached full capacity. Register now to avoid missing out. To see the Workshops Brief, please click here. For more information about the EYLF Professional Learning Program, please visit the EYLF PLP website.

Introducing the 'Observing practice' series

This series consists of short videos that depict snippets of practice in action, for educators to observe and describe the interactions, play, environment and learning in each situation. The aim of this series is to sharpen our observations and thinking about what we see, and then to think about how this might inform educators’ planning in their own services. Have a look at the first of the series here.

If you already have a Facebook account, simply click here to land on our Welcome Page. Don’t forget to ‘like’ us to be kept updated.

Are you new to Facebook?

If you’re new to Facebook but would like to join, creating an account is very easy. All you need is a valid email account.Head to www.facebook.comand ‘sign up’. You will receive an email to activate your account. From there, all you have to do is search for the EYLF PLP account, or click this link and ‘like’ us to be kept updated. For Facebook help, click here.

New EYLF PLP resources

Starting right is now available in the ‘resources’ section of the EYLF PLP site. Originally published in Every Child magazine Vol. 16 No. 4, this article provides a wonderful illustration of how the EYLF can be used to create projects to help smooth the transition to school.

Another resource titled Including the Aboriginal Australia in Your Service, is about creating an inclusive practice that helps children to break down stereotypes, and develop an understanding and appreciation of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.

EYLF PLP Forum—quote of the week

I think documentation for learning has many benefits. I like to think of documentation as assessment for learning because we are making links between our intentional teaching, children's ideas, actions and thoughts, and what we know about how children learn, based on best practice. This assessment provides us with a document that we can share further with children who are engaged, further linking with intentional thought and action, with families to engage in conversations and link together, but also with the community as a means of advocacy, where we can showcase children's ideas and provide a medium for agency …
(Forum discussion thread: What is the NQS saying about using the EYLF?—Contribution 12).

Come and find out what this great approach is and contribute to this discussion—and other discussions—on the EYLF PLP Forum.


Early childhood news

Government investment in child care making a difference for families

Minister for Child Care, Kate Ellis, has now provided data about Australian’s usage of child care in the Child care update. This new publication, available through the DEEWR website, offers a ‘comprehensive snapshot of child care activity in Australia, giving accurate and aggregated data about children, families, services and costs.’

Investing in public education—the way to the future

Minister Peter Garrett introduced the Schools Assistance Amendment (Financial Assistance) Bill 2011 into the Parliament late last week; a long awaited initiative to introduce a new funding system that will ensure that all Australian children receive equal learning opportunities. Read the media release.

My School 2.0 now live

Minister Garrett has announced the launch of My School 2.0. This site gives information ‘about the amount of funding is going into schools, student progress in literacy and numeracy, and how each school compares to schools in similar communities’, as well as improvements that will improve usability and security of the site. More information on the site updates can be found here.


Supporting ECEC practitioners

How planning and reflection develop children’s thinking skills

This article published in the [American] National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), talks about the importance of promoting broader thinking abilities in children; because ‘they are the foundation upon which children learn to make decisions, regulate their own behavior, meet complex challenges, and take responsibility for their actions.’

Designing the human environment: Connecting with children

This article talks about the important role that positive social and emotional development has in the formation of positive cognitive abilities. Read the full article to get some great ideas for educators to ‘tune in’ with children, to build and share constructive relationships and to create the foundations necessary for them to flourish.

Weird, wacky and wonderful (facts about animals)

Check out this fun and educational site offered by the Oracle Think Quest Education Foundation—full of fun and educational facts, Aboriginal stories and games about Australian animals.

National professional standards for teachers

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Ltd (AITSL) has released the National Professional Standards for Teachers. These standards articulate what teachers are expected to know and be able to do at four career stages: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead.With their descriptors the standards represent an analysis of effective, contemporary practice by teachers throughout Australia.The FAQs page has information about their intended use of these standards in the field.

Accessing and using the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) data

The AEDI gives us a national picture of children’s health and development—a first for Australia. The results pinpoint strengths in the community as well as what can be improved. The AEDI website provides numerous resources for researchers, schools and communities to understand and use their results.See AEDI Resources.


Conferences and dates

Windows of opportunity—WA 2011 Early childhood education and care conference

Registrations are now open for the WA 2011 ECEC Conference, which will take place 18–19 June 2011 at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre. Save up to $100 by registering before 30 April 2011. Access more information or go straight to registration.

2011 Queensland Education Resources Expo

The Queensland Education Resources Expo (QUEDREX) is an exclusive trade show for education professionals, providing access to over 100 exhibitors. This year the expo will take place 10–11 September at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, and admission is free! More information.

Children's place on the agenda... past, present and future—NIFTeY and the Centre for Community Child Health conference

This conference, which will take place in Sydney 28–29 February 2011, is an opportunity for people and practitioners working with children and their families to consider new and existing research, practice and policy evaluations and recommendations through presentations by international and numerous local experts. Access more information.

National playgroup week—March 20–26

This year's theme, ‘learning together through play’, highlights what Playgroup is all about—a learning experience that everyone can get involved in. Whether you're looking for a great day out for the kids, or the opportunity to build your local Playgroup community, there's something in National Playgroup Week for everyone. Find out what’s on, host an event or become a sponsor here.


ECA Greenwatch

Sustainability street

Sustainability Street is a program that ‘brings people together to create healthier, safer and more environmentally friendly neighbourhoods’. So far over 50 neighbourhoods have joined the program in Vic and NSW, involving child care centres and schools. Why not become a part of the Sustainability Street movement, like these people and their streets.


ECA Facebook

If you already have a Facebook account, simply click here to land on our wall. Don’t forget to ‘like’ us to be kept updated.

If you’re new to Facebook but would like to join, creating an account is very easy. All you need is a valid email account. Head to www.facebook.com and ‘sign up’. You will receive an email to activate your account. From there, all you have to do is search for the Early Childhood Australia account, or click this link and ‘like’ us to be kept updated. For Facebook help, click here.


Quality–assured early childhood resources

All of ECA's publications are peer-reviewed by early childhood experts, so you can be assured that all our publications are of the highest quality, and relevant to you and your work. Here are some suggestions for resources that support the National Professional Standards for Teachers:

Portfolios: Documenting a journey

Portfolios allow children and teachers to reflect on evolving practices and understandings, plan for improvement and foster a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Building a classroom community: The early childhood teacher's role

Fostering positive values and a sense of community in young children is the heart of the early childhood teacher's role. Jeannette Stone writes simply and powerfully on how to instil respect, responsibility, and compassion in young children today.

Engaging families: Building strong communication

Children learn and develop best with the cooperation of the adults in their lives, so effective communication is a must. Roslyn Elliott outlines the five simple stages which will engage families and strengthen the links between children's services and home - uncovering valuable knowledge for everyone along the way.

Seven skills for school success

Information, activities and experiences that will help children develop the skills they need to become successful learners.

Developing learning in early childhood: 0–8 years

Shows how adults can support children and help them develop their early childhood learning. Uses traditional approaches, along with research and theories, to achieve a balanced early years education.


The ECA values statements

Early Childhood Australia is guided in its work by endorsed values. These sit alongside ECA’s Principles, Positions, Code of Ethics, Scope of Activities and Governance Guidelines as our Foundation Materials. With the other Foundation Materials the ECA values inform ECA’s Strategic Directions and all our day-to-day work. View the ECA Values statements.


ECA website usability survey

We need your help! We are asking people who use the ECA website for their opinions.By taking part in our usability survey, you are helping us to make a better website.


Help us expand the ECA WebWatch community

Please pass this e-newsletter service on to friends and colleagues with this link to subscribe: www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/mail

Early Childhood Australia's strength is determined by the strength of its members and supporters. It is only through your support that we can advocate for and on behalf of the sector. As a reader of ECA WebWatch you can make a big difference to the sector. By forwarding this newsletter to colleagues and inviting them to subscribe, you extend our advocacy chain – increasing our ability to communicate and work with the sector.

Let us know what you think ...
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Past issues of ECA WebWatch are available on the Early Childhood Australia website.

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ECA WebWatch - Issue 109, March, 2011. © Early Childhood Australia.


Last updated: (April 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm)

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