ECA WebWatch – Issue 113 May 2011

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The best of early childhood news!

This issue of ECA WebWatch features child protection.

In this issue:

  • ECA position statement: Children of Asylum Seekers
  • crisis-driven approach is failing our most vulnerable children
  • child abuse: Protecting children is not just the job of Social Services
  • children in immigration detention
  • scientists seek to treat chronically traumatised brains
  • why too much TV is bad for kids
  • winners of the Australian Family Child Care Awards 2011
  • a practical vision for early childhood care and education
  • keep them safe: A shared approach to child wellbeing
  • core issue series: Improving outcomes for Indigenous students
  • using data to improve school and student literacy and numeracy performance
  • National Disability Alliance in Children’s Services ‘expression of interest’
  • Australian Institute of Family Studies resources sheets.

Plus regular ECA WebWatch items:

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

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About Early Childhood Australia

EYLF Professional Learning Program update

EYLF PLP e-Newsletters

The latest edition of the EYLF PLP e-Newsletters titled Documenting learning 2 is a sequel to the last editionand continues to provide examples of ways to talk about and represent learning. This, and previous editions can be viewed on the EYLF PLP website. The next EYLF PLP e-Newsletter titled Learning spaces 1: Outdoors, will be out Wednesday 11 May. Sign up here.

EYLF Professional Learning Workshops

Five more Workshops have taken place over the last fortnight, on the Gold Coast, in Townsville, Dubbo, Hobart and Wollongong, with positive outcomes:

My faith has been restored that Early Childhood Education is returning to the place that I truly believe in.
Townsville Workshop

Don’t forget that the EYLF PLP online Forum is a great place for Workshop participants to stay connected and exchange information on progress and challenges as they implement the EYLF. For more information about the EYLF Professional Learning Program, please visit the EYLF PLP website.

EYLF PLP 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.

Connect with the EYLF PLP Twitter network

Link up with the EYLF Professional Learning Program community on Twitter! Use Twitter to share your Workshop experiences and take advantage of the Thinking Practice series—short thought-provoking statements guaranteed to get you thinking about the role of the EYLF in raising quality education and care for our young children. Join us at:

EYLF PLP Forum—Quote of the week

Lots of people, from all walks of life, find change challenging. The trick for leaders is to find a way forward with people who are reluctant to change or who are finding it challenging.
Reluctance to change often stems from a fear or concern a person has, however, many times this fear is not something that they have spent a lot of time thinking about; it just 'is' as far as they are concerned. In order to facilitate change, leaders need to be able to assist their teams to 'interrogate' their own assumptions or thought patterns and to really understand what it is that is blocking their acceptance of change.
(Forum discussion thread—Leadership: Leading others through change—contribution 4)

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

Early childhood news

ECA position statement: Children of Asylum Seekers

Early Childhood Australia advocates strongly for children of asylum seekers, and calls for solutions that do not include the incarceration of children, or their separation from their families. Read the position statement.

Crisis-driven approach is failing our most vulnerable children

This article looks at the effectiveness of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, signed and ratified by Australia in 1990, and suggests that the Convention fails to protect children in Australia and prepare them to adopt healthy life choices as adults.

Child abuse: Protecting children is not just the job of Social Services

Only a minority of child abuse cases are reported to authorities—parents; friends; neighbours; early childhood professionals and everyone in the community need to look out for the wellbeing of young children. This article talks about the role of everyday people in protecting children, to provide a safe environment for them to exist in and to take the step to report child abuse when it occurs. This would be a great resource to mention in your next newsletter, to raise awareness in your community.

Children in immigration detention

Children in immigration detention centres need special protection and care and they rely on adults for this. Read about one children’s rights advocate’s perception of life for children in detention on Christmas Island.

Scientists seek to treat chronically traumatised brains

This article talks about the quickly expanding research done by scientists in America, to understand the effects of chronic trauma on the brain and to pioneer treatment that will help millions of people that suffer from chronic stress and trauma.

Why too much TV is bad for kids

‘Researchers at Sydney University have found that children who watch too much TV have retinal damage and that also signals increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes later in life.’ Read the full report. Why not share this with families in your service via your next newsletter?

Winners of the Australian Family Child Care Awards 2011

See all the winners of the various national and state award categories at the Australian Family Child Care Awards, presented 29 April. Congratulations to all the runners up and winners!

Supporting ECEC practitioners

A practical vision for early childhood care and education

Together with some of the world's leading experts in early childhood, PwC has created ‘A practical vision for early childhood education and care’, which ‘… outlines a series of high level policy recommendations to create an integrated Early Childhood Education and Care system from the existing arrangements’. More information about PwC and this document can be found here.

Keep them safe: A shared approach to child wellbeing

The NSW Government has a new five-year plan to ‘…change the way children and families are supported and protected. Its aim is to improve the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children and young people in New South Wales’. Have a look at the new Keep them safe website, which provides information about the new child protection system including resources, training materials, and their email newsletter.

Core issue series: Improving outcomes for Indigenous students

Each of the papers in the Core Issues Series offers key directions about particular topics, to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous students.

Using data to improve school and student literacy and numeracy performance

Over a quarter of all Australian schools (2,500) are participating in the National Partnerships for Low Socio-economic Status School Communities and Literacy and Numeracy, aimed at addressing disadvantage, supporting teachers and school leaders and improving literacy and numeracy. Listen to what teachers at Punchbowl Public School in NSW have to say about the benefits of using enhanced data analysis for understanding their students’ learning needs.

National Disability Alliance in Children’s Services ‘expression of interest’

The National Disability Alliance in Children’s Services (NDACS) formerly known as National Alliance of Disability Resource and Training Agencies (NADRATA) is committed to the philosophy of inclusion which is underpinned by policies and practice of quality service provision within Children’s Services. NDACS purpose is to provide a strong national forum which supports the right of children with disabilities to access and participate in community life. We are currently seeking applications for membership from organisations who support this philosophy. Further information and a copy of the NDACS Purpose and Protocols can be obtained from Debbie Hardy on (07) 33918663 or

Australian Institute of Family Studies resources sheets

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)> has released a number of new resource sheets: Risk assessment in child protection; The economic costs of child abuse and neglect; and Children in Care.

Conferences and dates

‘Bringing Up Great Kids’ Program training seminars

The ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’ Program has recently been developed by the Australian Childhood Foundation into an easy to use facilitator’s package and is now available for use by a range of professionals working with families and supporting parents. Download the information brochure for more information about the program. Information about the training seminars around Australia can be found here.

Australian Schools National Sorry Day—26 May

The National Sorry Day Committee (NSDC) is inviting every Australian School and Education Facility from 'Kindy to Uni' to participate in the Australian Schools National Sorry Day. Register your school’s activity or event to commemorate National Sorry Day here.

Co-production and co-education in services provided for children and families

This professional development day delivered by Margy Whalley on 23 June 2011, will provide ‘… insight into a model where both children’s centres and Child and Family Centres might pioneer a shift from a conventional model of teaching and learning to a new model where parents and staff work together as co-educators’. For more information and to register for the professional development day, download the flyer.

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.

Children’s place on the agenda… past present and future

This conference on 28–29 July 2011 provides 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 field experts. For more information about the conference and to register visit the conference site.

Power of Play National Playgroup Conference—October 1–14

Playgroup Australia’s Power of Play National Playgroup Conference ‘All Together Now’ in Melbourne, will bring together early childhood professionals, child care workers, policy makers and playgroupers to focus on how the simple act of coming together in play has the power to nurture children, support families and build socially inclusive and active communities. For more information and to register click here.

ECA Greenwatch

Retrash rethinking waste

Help compile an international database of ways in which different people are reusing discarded and salvaged materials and reducing landfill. These ideas will be converted into a comprehensive book—Retrash—which will categorically list all of the different materials that have been given a second life and turned into something of value. Contribute 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. Below are some resources that pay attention to children’s social and emotional well being and services’ close work with families, in order to grow healthy strong children who are less likely to be subjected to child abuse.

Everyday learning about responding to the emotional needs of children

This book is about responding to young children’s emotional needs, along with an explanation of why this is so important for a child’s healthy emotional development.

Through young black eyes

A handbook to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from the impact of family violence and child abuse.

No fear: Growing up in a risk averse society

No fear: Growing up in a risk averse society argues that risk-aversion is at a high, and not only does it restrict children's play, it limits their freedom of movement, corrodes their relationships with adults and constrains their exploration of physical and social worlds.

Children's Resilience: Working with the Early Years Learning Framework

Resilience is about the ability to deal with and succeed in difficult situations and events. Resilience is a mix of key skills and characteristics of a person and the social supports and environment in which they live.

Everyday learning about confidence and coping skills

Debunks the myth of the 'resilient child', and gives practical advice and knowledge about what parents and carers can do to help children develop life-coping skills—building self-esteem, problem-solving, confidence and positivity along the way!

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.

Resource of the week

Playsilks, from the Silk Playground, is the latest addition to ECA’s quality assured catalogue.

To celebrate this addition, over the coming week (4–12 May) ECA and the Silk Playground are offering a 20% discount on Playsilks—a pack of seven gorgeous large silk square scarves in bright rainbow colours for children to play with.

A set of playsilks is Available at $70 (normally $86) for this week only. Don’t forget to enter the promotional code: BOW1101 into the shopping cart to get the special price. The prices quoted above include postage and handling. Please note: This product is being provided by a third party. The Silk Playground will be given customer details for shipping purposes only.

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 113, May 2011. © Early Childhood Australia.

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


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