ECA WebWatch – Issue 110 March 2011

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The best of early childhood news!

Welcome to the latest issue of the award winning ECA WebWatch. This issue features the commencement of the EYLF Professional Learning Workshops.

In this issue:

  • UNICEF emergency appeal for children in Japan
  • National Quality Framework consultation forums
  • national Parents’ voice supports government action against bullying
  • dental health of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory—findings from the Closing the Gap program
  • lack of proper nutrition in childhood linked to lower IQ
  • fathers' depression affects parenting behaviour
  • nominate your inspirational teachers
  • teachers are teachers
  • workforce innovation conference
  • earth hour.

Plus regular ECA WebWatch items:

  • EYLF Professional Learning Program update
  • ECA Greenwatch
  • ECA Facebook
  • quality–assured early childhood resources
  • the ECA values statements.

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About Early Childhood Australia


UNICEF emergency appeal for children in Japan

Donate to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF's emergency appeal for the children affected by the quake and tsunami. Due to the unprecedented nature of the epic disaster and its impact on children, resources are going to be critical in helping provide for the very unique needs of children. These may include health, development and protection and other needs that may have been compromised or disrupted in the wake of catastrophe.

National Quality Framework consultation forums

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

So far the popular NQF consultation forums have taken place in cities and regional centres in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

In the coming weeks the consultation forums will continue to take place in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales. Further information about locations and dates for the NQF consultation forums can be accessed here.

Please note that additional forums will be held in New South Wales in the following locations (venues and times to be confirmed):

  1. Ballina—Monday, 4 April
  2. Port Macquarie—Tuesday, 5 April
  3. Wollongong—Wednesday, 6 April

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.

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 commencing

On Saturday 26 March the first of the EYLF Professional Learning Workshops will be held in Cairns! If you registered for this Workshop, we are looking forward to seeing you in Cairns. Please note that registrations will not be carried out on the day; you must register before the Workshops to attend.

The Workshops, which will be held in urban and regional areas around Australia, will take place over the coming months until August to assist early childhood education and care professionals to better understand and implement the EYLF.

Some Workshop locations have already reached full capacity, so 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.

EYLF PLP e-Newsletters

The latest edition of the EYLF PLP e-Newsletters titled Understanding cultural competence focuses on one of the eight key practices that the EYLF highlights as essential to support children's learning. Access this edition and others for free on the EYLF PLP website. Keep an eye out for the next useful edition of the EYLF PLP e-Newsletters titled Planning for and documenting learning, which will be out Wednesday 30 March.

EYLF PLP Facebook

The second ‘Observing practice’ video titled Preparing lunch, is now available on the EYLF PLP Facebook page.

The first of the ‘Observing practice’ video series was a great success, with almost 7000 people viewing the video! Numerous people have left encouraging words about the first of the ‘Observing practice’ series, saying:

It would be so beneficial to have more of these visual examples. This is a great tool for educators to learn, to read others' comments, and refresh our ideas for best practice. More please.

Thank you for providing a realistic clip for us to discuss, it shows what can be achieved in a busy setting and gives all educators food for thought.

Due to popular demand, a Y-Chart about ‘Belonging’ has also been made available for free download on the EYLF PLP Facebook page. Read the positive feedback:

There are not many documents that say cuddling is a part of what we do in this world of child protection. What a step forward!! and in the best interests of children, when it is understood by professionals who know there are boundaries to be observed in meeting the needs of children. I absolutely love this, as it is tangible and so easily understood. Would love to get the other 2 B's also. Waiting with anticipation to be able to print these out.

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 and ‘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.

EYLF PLP Forum—Quote of the week

I think a provocative question board (if not over used!) is a good idea as part of building a culture of inquiry in early childhood services. Perhaps controversial, but I do think sometimes we don't ask enough of our staff. We have high expectations of children regarding learning but often we don't apply this same principle to staff. Of course with this we need understanding and compassion for the complexity and difficulty of the work early childhood staff do. I have found that staff respect leaders who ask them to be active participants in their professional learning and that staff often appreciate that we recognise their capacity to engage meaningfully with their work.
(Forum discussion thread—Various topics: Ways To motivate other educators around EYLF—Contribution 3)

Join in and contribute to this discussion—and other discussions—on the EYLF PLP Forum.

Early childhood news

National Parents’ voice supports government action against bullying

In this media release, the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO), representing the voice of parents in government schools, embraces the first National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, and the National Safe Schools Framework—both initiatives of the Australian Government to provide physical and emotional safety and wellbeing for all students in Australian schools.

Dental health of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory—findings from the Closing the Gap Program

This report by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare highlights the success of the closing the gap goal to provide dental health to Northern Territory indigenous children; showing that 60 per cent of the children who required follow-up care after their initial dental appointment having been seen by a dental health professional.

Lack of proper nutrition in childhood linked to lower IQ

Through the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) researchers have learned that ‘young children who eat a diet of processed foods that are high in fat and sugar may have a lower IQ later in life, while those who receive proper nourishment in early childhood may gain a boost to their brain power’. The findings of this research recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Read the full article.

Fathers' depression affects parenting behaviour

According to this study published in Pediatrics, depressed fathers are less likely to display positive parental behavior toward their one-year-old children and are more likely to demonstrate negative parenting behavior.

Supporting ECEC practitioners

Nominate your inspirational teachers

Nominations are now open for the NEiTA 2011 ASG Inspirational Teaching Awards—Teachers count. More information on how to nominate a teacher can be found here. ‘Nominating a teacher is a great way to say “Thank you!”, and to recognise, celebrate and congratulate an inspirational leader, principal or director.’

Teachers are teachers

The Teachers are Teachers campaign aims to increase funding for early childhood services to enable services to increase their teacher’s salaries. The majority of children’s learning happens in the first five years of their life. Teachers of this age group must have pay parity so that quality teachers are attracted and retained to teach children in these important years. For information about the campaign, events activities and more, visit the Teachers are Teachers site.

Conferences and dates

Workforce Innovation Conference

This conference will take place 19–20 May 2011 at Brisbane Sebel and Citigate Hotel. Registrations are now open and close on Friday 6 May 2011. For further information and to register, please click here.

Earth Hour

On 26 March between 8:30–9:30 pm people from one hundred different countries around the world will turn off their lights during Earth Hour 2011. Join in and take the time to consider ways that you can reduce your footprint on the earth. Sign up here to show your support.

ECA Greenwatch

Earth Day—22 April

Have a look at one Kinder’s Earth Day approach, aimed at getting the children to really experience and consider what caring for the earth entails—and get some good ideas for your Earth Day program too! Find more information about Earth Day here.

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 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 for those of you interested in teaching children about environmental sustainability; reading up on the importance of eating good food; and about positive and healthy family relationships:

Everyday learning about being green

Practical ideas for green living and helping children learn the importance of key environmental sustainability areas including energy saving, water conservation, waste minimisation, composting and sustainable food practices.

Food and health in early childhood

Offers a comprehensive look at food, nutrition and eating in the early years, including the role it plays as part of an early childhood service.

Stress in early childhood: Helping children and their carers

Reducing stress opens up more opportunities for positive experiences—for both children and the adults who care for them. Stress in early childhood: Helping children and their carers offers practical and effective strategies for stress management.

Everyday learning in families

Children have the best chance of forming a firm foundation for later life skills when they are surrounded by quality relationships—whether in the home or in outside care. Early learning experiences that are positive and supported by an interested and encouraging adult will help children gain these important skills.

Focus on fathering

'A range of diverse views to provide a basis for debate and reflection about the role that [Australian] men play as fathers in their children's lives.' Professor Fiona Stanley, Australian of the Year.

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.

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ECA WebWatch - Issue 110, March, 2011. © Early Childhood Australia.

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


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