ECA WebWatch – Issue 112 April 2011

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The best of early childhood news!

This issue of ECA WebWatch features the State of the Sector report:
Our future on the line, Keeping the early childhood education and care reforms on track..

In this issue:

  • National Quality Framework
  • Minister Ellis welcomes Early Childhood Australia’s State of the Sector report
  • State of the Sector report update
  • progress on early childhood reforms
  • Minister Garrett launches latest AEDI results
  • ‘use common sense in childcare’, says Minister Ellis
  • child care regulations promote cultural diversity, not cultural bans
  • a smart territory: Supporting community based childcare centres
  • Big Steps in early child care for the 21 Century
  • childcare professionals deserve better recognition
  • using reflection to connect and inspire learning
  • evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence: What does it all mean?
  • implementing an Aboriginal perspective into any everyday early childhood environment
  • connecting today’s children with nature
  • de Lissa PhD Scholarships—be at the forefront of early childhood literacy research
  • swap it, don’t stop it.

Plus regular ECA WebWatch items:

  • EYLF Professional Learning Program update
  • conferences and dates
  • ECA Greenwatch
  • ECA Facebook
  • quality–assured early childhood resources
  • book of the week
  • the ECA values statements.

Sponsored link
About Early Childhood Australia

National Quality Framework

Draft National Regulations Consultation Period Extended

Due to the overwhelming response received to date on the draft national regulations, the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments have committed to extending the consultation period by a further two weeks. The closing date for submissions is now 29 April 2011.

Submissions on the Information Paper, Addendum to the Information Paper or the National Regulations exposure draft, can be emailed to Written feedback can also be posted to:

National Quality Framework Regulations Exposure Draft Submission
Early Childhood Quality Group
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Loc C17MR2
GPO Box 9879

Information regarding the release of Schedule 8, which deals with specific transitional arrangements for each State and Territory, will be provided once available.

EYLF Professional Learning Program update

EYLF PLP e-Newsletters

The latest edition of the EYLF PLP e-Newsletters titled Documenting learning talks about linking planning and records of what happens in a learning episode to some of the EYLF Learning Outcomes, and provides some examples of planning and recording templates provided by educators. This, and previous editions can be viewed on the EYLF PLP website. The next EYLF PLP e-Newsletter titled Documenting learning 2, will be out Wednesday 27 April. Sign up here.

We have received some fantastic feedback about the EYLF PLP e-Newsletters:

Just love your newsletters and look forward to each and every one of them arriving in my inbox. I have printed some of your interesting articles and placed them in our staffroom. They are immediately snapped up with great gusto....almost a race to see who's going to get it first. Very helpful and interesting topics. Thank you!!
Facebook contributor

EYLF Professional Learning Workshops

A total of almost 500 people attended the first six EYLF Professional Learning Workshops in various states. Many people have indicated that the Workshops have empowered them to go back to their respective services and implement the EYLF with much greater understanding:

Discussions give quality ideas for people to take back. It is lovely to talk with other educators in the field and be inspired with the new documents and slide shows.
Gold Coast Workshop

Many 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 Facebook

Why not join the EYLF PLP community on Facebook? Take advantage of this hub for discussion and the sharing of resources. It’s sure to get you thinking about how early childhood practitioners all around Australia are implementing the EYLF and to give you lots of ideas.

This recent contribution is a great example of the inspiring conversation that can be found on the EYLF PLP Facebook Wall:

A four-year-old reads ‘Where is the green sheep?’ to a group of two-year-olds. One two-year-old starts to sing ‘Baa baa black sheep’ very loudly. The four-year-old puts down his book and encourages everyone to join in. After the singing he says ‘So where is the green sheep?’ They point and yell ‘There!’ He picks up the book and continues to read. Did he learn by watching us or are we learning by watching him?
Facebook contributor

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

... your conversation with colleagues was very revealing and helpful for building our understanding. The EYLF says that 'Educators who are culturally competent respect multiple ways of knowing, seeing and living, celebrate the benefits of diversity and have an ability to understand and honour differences' (p. 16) ... All the posts on the matter of Easter have shown cultural competence in action ... respect for other ways, preparedness to learn about other ways, and being willing to talk and listen to children and families and then make an informed decision about what and how to celebrate.
(Forum discussion thread—The EYLF and the National Curriculum: The EYLF and Easter—contribution 4)

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

Early childhood news

Minister Ellis welcomes Early Childhood Australia’s State of the Sector report

Read Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care, Kate Ellis’ media release, in which she welcomes the State of the Sector report, stating ‘… ECA’s new report clearly makes the case for quality in child care and we agree with the ECA that we must not delay our roll-out of the new quality reforms for the child care sector.’

State of the Sector report update

For those that downloaded the Our future is on the line State of the Sector report in the last special edition of ECA WebWatch, an amendment has been made to correctly relate that the current regulations in Western Australia already require a minimum of 1:5 staff/child ratio for 25–35 months. Download the updated version here.

Progress on early childhood reforms

Listen to ABC National Radio’s interview of Early Childhood Australia CEO Pam Cahir, who spells out the what the National Quality Agenda reforms mean for early childhood education and care services as the reforms are rolled out until 2020, and what this means for children’s wellbeing and Australia’s economy in the long run.

Minister Garrett launches latest AEDI results

The Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett has launched the latest AEDI results, providing 96 per cent of Australia’s communities with important information about how their children are developing.

‘Use common sense in childcare’, says Minister Ellis

Read about Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care, Kate Ellis’ stance on recent debate over the use of discipline in early childhood education and care centres.

Child care regulations promote cultural diversity, not cultural bans

In this media release, Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) addresses a number of recent media reports that FDCA says have misinterpreted parts of the Education and Care Services National Law Bill 2010 and the draft Regulations. ‘Family Day Care Australia Board Chair Lynne Moran says the draft legislation suggests early child care educators follow a common sense approach.’

A smart territory: Supporting community based childcare centres

The Northern Territory Government is investing $258 000 a year to support valuable community-based childcare centres managed by parents, in order to ‘… assist these centres in the smooth management of their business operations.’ Read the full media release.

Big Steps in childcare for the 21 Century

Have a look at the United Voice’s (formerly called LHMU) ‘BIG STEPS in childcare’ campaign. This document outlines the first big step—workforce reform. ‘While research on ECEC quality and surveys on what parents need indicate that staff are crucial to the provision of quality ECEC services, low pay and poor career prospects have created a serious skills crisis in Australia’s early childhood workforce.’ Access a summary of the campaign here.

Childcare professionals deserve better recognition

Read here about MP Kate Ellis’ afternoon working as a childcare professional at a local early childhood service, as a part of United Voice’s ‘Walk in my shoes’ campaign. ‘It is really important that we recognise that these workers in childcare services right around the nation are often the unsung heroes of our community and deserve much better recognition and much better value,’ said Minister Ellis.

Supporting ECEC practitioners

Using reflection to connect and inspire learning

This article talks about early childhood professionals using ‘reflection’ to encourage learning in young children. Reflection as a tool for learning has many facets to explore and understand. Read on to discover the full potential of reflection in early childhood education.

Evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence: What does it all mean?

This policy brief, advocates to services in the early childhood sector choosing the most effective interventions for children and their families to use ‘… a broader method of assessing outcomes of interventions through incorporating practice-based evidence into our understanding of evidence-based practice.’

Implementing an Aboriginal perspective into any everyday early childhood environment

This issue of Childcare and children’s health includes a great article about ways that Aboriginal culture and heritage can be celebrated in early childhood education and care settings.

Connecting today’s children with nature

Have a look at this Policy Action Plan created by the [American] National Wildlife Federation, to encourage parents and caregivers to make time for children to go outside and play, and to help reconnect children with nature.

De Lissa PhD Scholarships—be at the forefront of early childhood literacy research

Applications are now open for two PhD scholarships to engage in early childhood literacy research. Find more information about the de Lissa PhD Scholarships and how to apply.

Swap it, don’t stop it

Join the Swap it, don’t stop it movement—get involved in swapping unhealthy life choices with healthy choices. Check out the homepage with lots of resources guaranteed to get you thinking like a swapper!

Conferences and dates

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Innovation Showcase—12 May

The 2011 program showcases a fantastic selection of keynotes and workshops by Victorian innovators. They examine a wide range of innovations in various educational settings—offering an experience to inspire and interest you whatever your involvement in education. More information can be found here.

Positive Schools Mental Health and Wellbeing Conferences 2011

These two premier mental health and wellbeing conferences will take place 12–14 May in Freemantle, WA; and 26–27 May in Brisbane, Qld. Access more information.

National Families Week—Sticking together: families in good and tough times

National Families Week is a celebration of the vital role that families play. This year it will be from 15-21 May, to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Families on 15 May. Find out what National Families Week events are in your area, get more information and resources, or register your event here.

Motivating the unmotivated: Reaching the hard to reach students (kinder to primary)

This three-day workshop from 16–18 May will empower educators with the tools to foster a learning environment that encourages and assists students to achieve. Access more information here.

C&K Conference Brisbane—Living in a child’s world

The C&K Conference Brisbane 2011 will include a range of attractions for educators and will take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre 21–22 May 2011. More information about the Conference, the program and registrations can be found here.

Working Together Against Bullying Seminar series 2011

The Queensland Department of Education and Training is presenting a series of free seminars around Queensland throughout 2011 for school leaders, teachers, teacher aides, guidance officers, behaviour management staff and parents. More information about the workshops and how to register can be found here.

REAIE National Biennial Conference 14–17 July 2011—Landscapes of a hundred languages

The Landscapes of a hundred languages conference provides an opportunity for educators from around Australia and from overseas to meet to explore and discuss the pedagogy of schools in Reggio Emilia. Access more information or go ahead and register.

ECA Greenwatch

Where nature meets story... for parents and educators

Stories about animals, plants, and wild places can be a big part of helping kids connect to nature. Have a look at these great ideas to help you enrich your nature discovery with stories old and new ... and even stories told by kids themselves.

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 book suggestions for topics ranging from learning assessment to fostering a productive learning atmosphere:

Assessment in the Early Years

This resource supports educators to develop, review and strengthen their own approaches to assessment in a way that assists educators to align their practices with the Early Years Learning Framework. Assessment in the early years has also been written to complement the Educators’ guide.

Building better behaviour in the early years

Learn to create a calm, yet stimulating positive atmosphere for children and staff in your centre, so children can be supported to become successful learners.

Ants in their pants

Ants in their pants helps to understand the kinaesthetic nature of busy children, and offers valuable suggestions that will aid in harnessing and directing busy kids in a positive and productive way.

Enhancing children's development

Covers a broad range of topics related to early childhood development. An invaluable resource for all early childhood professionals: students, lecturers, and all those who work in children's services.

Early childhood education and care

Provides a contemporary approach to understanding sociocultural theory in action, providing practical examples and commentary by teachers.

Book of the week

Take advantage of this week’s ECA WebWatch book special! This week (20–26 April) you can buy Thinking about the scientific world for $37.45 (25% discount). Don’t forget to enter the promotional code: BOW1101, into the shopping cart in order to get the special price.

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

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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.

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ECA WebWatch - Issue 112, April 2011. © Early Childhood Australia.

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


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