ECA WebWatch – Issue 134 March 2012

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The best of early childhood news!

Welcome to the latest issue of ECA WebWatch featuring children’s safety and wellbeing.

In this issue:

  • Kony 2012 campaign
  • flood safety for children
  • childcare rebates go unclaimed
  • the impact of adversity on children’s development
  • Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children
  • new Commissioner: an advocate for Aboriginal children
  • more than just getting them off the couch—preventing childhood obesity
  • new research on domestic violence and children
  • review of therapies for children with autism
  • Get Up and Grow—give your feedback!
  • contribute to the Get Up and Grow cookbook in WA
  • business principles make children’s rights a reality
  • National Year of Reading update
  • grants available to ECEC practitioners
  • take the Gutsy Challenge
  • ECA responds to the NQS ‘Excellent’ rating
  • NQF listening tour
  • ACECQA explains parental authorisation regulations
  • join ECA’s Preferred Provider list
  • Response Ability—background reading for educators

Plus regular ECA WebWatch items:

  • National Quality Framework Professional Learning Program update
  • your ECA Conference monthly update
  • ECA Greenwatch
  • quality-assured early childhood resources
  • conferences and dates
  • the ECA Values Statements.
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Erratum

In the online version of Webwatch Issue 134 we mistakenly indicated that the background reading for educator's were currently available online from the Response Agility website. This is incorrect. Please read below for the most current information.

Early childhood news

Kony 2012 campaign

Over the last fortnight social media has exploded with commentary about this viral video describing child enslavement and human rights abuses by Joseph Kony, the leader of Ugandan insurgent group the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’.

The details of this video have been the subject of considerable controversy and ECA is not affiliated with the organisation running this campaign. We do, however, believe that the enslavement and abuse of children the world over is cause for concern for every one of us, and ask that you watch the video and consider the issues it raises for yourself.

Flood safety for children

As the rain and flooding continues in many parts of the country, it is important to be aware of how we can keep children safe in dangerous flood waters. The Victorian Government Department of Health offers this factsheet on ensuring safety and hygiene when returning to a flooded property.

Childcare rebates go unclaimed

The Adelaide Advertiser has reported an estimate that one in 10 South Australian families are missing out on up to $7500 per year by failing to claim childcare rebates. For information on rebates that might help families of children in your early learning setting, see the Government website mychild.gov.au, the Family Assistance Office, or the online childcare estimate calculator.

The impact of adversity on children’s development

Harvard University’s Centre on the Developing Child has released an edition of their InBrief series, focusing on the biology of stress and explaining the ways that major adversity and trauma can weaken children's developing neural structures. Their research also shows that providing stable, responsive environments for children in the earliest years of life can prevent or reverse these conditions. On their website you can watch the four-minute video or download the pdf.

The University of Queensland provides these resources to assist educators in appropriately responding to children who have experienced traumatic events.

Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children

The Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry has recently been released by the Victorian Government, to support from various child protection groups. The Inquiry was tasked with investigating systemic problems in Victoria’s child protection system and making recommendations to strengthen and improve the protection and support of vulnerable young Victorians.

New Commissioner will be an advocate for Aboriginal children

Rates of abuse reported in the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry have prompted the Victorian government to create a new Commissioner position to advocate for the wellbeing of Indigenous children. The Aboriginal Children’s Commissioner will seek to address inequalities and disadvantage faced by these children, as well confront the ongoing trauma and mistrust of welfare agencies experienced by Aboriginal communities as a result of previous policies. Read more here.

More than just getting them off the couch—preventing childhood obesity

A 17-year longitudinal study conducted by Australian researchers has begun to offer up findings, describing what kinds of interventions will prevent and counter childhood obesity and the associated problems with health and wellbeing. This article reports some success for the programs, with the prevalence of childhood weight problems around Australia plateauing.

New research on domestic violence and children

The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Australia (DMVRCA) has released a new discussion paper called ‘Just Say Goodbye’: Parents who kill their children in the context of separation, available here. This paper examines the motives and background to ‘filicide’ and identifies a link between the killing of children and violence against women.

Review of therapies for children with autism

A new report reviewing the most effective models of practice for children with autism spectrum disorder has been released. Produced by the Australian Autism Research Collaboration, academics and practitioners have contributed recommendations to further improve the early intervention services component of the Government’s Helping Children with Autism package.

Business principles make children’s rights a reality

Developed by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children, the Children’s Rights and Business Principles are the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on the measures they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights. Read about the principles here, or download the full document.

Get Up and Grow—give your feedback!

The Get Up and Grow: Healthy eating and physical activity early childhood resources were developed in 2009 by the Australian Government and distributed to ECEC services in order to provide practical information to support healthy behaviours in children. These resources are now undergoing a national evaluation. Your feedback is vital in shaping these resources to best meet the needs of children and ECEC professionals.

This survey will only take 5–10 minutes of your time and all information is strictly confidential and anonymous. Even if you have not heard of the resources, you contribution and perspective will aid the evaluation. The survey will close on Tuesday, 27 March 2012.

Contribute to the Get Up and Grow cookbook in WA

Nutrition Australia WA Division, in partnership with Child Australia, is currently seeking recipes for a cookbook designed to encourage and help educators in childcare settings to provide healthy, nutritious meals to children. The project is designed to support the Commonwealth Government healthy eating initiative Get Up and Grow. To contribute a recipe use this template and email your submission to PSCWA (Professional Support Coordinator WA). If you coordinate the food for your ECEC service and would like to contribute ideas to a forum, click this link to view details.

National Year of Reading update

The National Year of Reading’s competition for children aged 2–12 has now opened in the ACT. Children can submit a short story, letter or picture that tells a story about a child’s home town or a special place they have visited in Australia. Click here for details.

For children aged four and up enrolled in schools, South Australia, Victoria and NSW have launched their annual state Premiers’ reading challenges for 2012. Click the states for more information. Other states will have reading challenges and literacy programs throughout the year.

Grants available to ECEC practitioners

The Foundation of Graduates in Early Childhood Studies is offering funding to support not-for-profit Victorian early learning organisations that are disadvantaged or who care for disadvantaged children. Two grants are available, one for the professional training of educators and one for organisations that wish to fund a particular project.

Take the Gutsy Challenge

Every day, 26 Australians die from gastro-intestinal (GI) cancers. By taking the Gutsy Challenge you can raise money and awareness about GI cancers and encourage children to eat healthily. To take the challenge, you just have to eat two pieces of fruit and four veggies every day for a week. Easy, right? ...


National Quality Framework

ECA responds to the National Quality Standard ‘Excellent’ rating

‘Excellence is not static, it is a journey’. ACECQA is currently in the process of determining the purpose of an ‘Excellent’ rating and the criteria that will determine whether an ECEC service can achieve it. ECA has developed a response to this process, with an emphasis on defining ‘excellence’ as an ongoing, whole-of-service characteristic and not a performance on the day of assessment.Read the full response on ECA’s website.

National Quality Framework listening tour

United Voice has invited the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) to join the National Quality Framework (NQF) Listening Tour. Representatives of ACECQA and United Voice (the ECEC union), want to hear from front-line directors and educators working in long day care on the opportunities and challenges of the NQF and the NQS. Click here to register, or for more details.


Supporting ECEC practitioners

ACECQA explains parental authorization regulations

Do you have questions about when you need to obtain permission from parents? ACECQA has provided important information regarding the regulations on obtaining parental authorization here.

Join ECA's Preferred Provider list

ECA is developing a preferred provider list, which will enable us to quickly identify appropriately qualified people to undertake writing and other tasks for the organisation. Preferred providers would have knowledge of early childhood theory, pedagogy and practice, knowledge and/or experience in early childhood education and care settings and experience delivering professional learning, among other requirements. If you are an individual member of ECA and would like to be considered for this list, or would like further information, please contact Janine Chuter before 12 April 2012.

Response Ability—background reading for educators

The Background Reading for Teachers forms part of the Response Ability Teacher Education Initiative's Vocational Education and Training Resource for Children's Services. This resource is available to Registered Training Organisations nationally offering the Certificate III, Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Children's Services. In the future an online interactive knowledge assessment will be trialled on the Response Ability website in conjunction with the online release of Background Reading for Teachers. For copies of the resource or further information please contact the Response Ability: Education & Children's Services project team on education@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au or telephone (02) 4924 6900.


NQS Professional Learning Program update

Have you thought about ... ?

The Have you thought about ... ? series takes us around Australia in search of ways we can think about implementing the EYLF and approaching the NQS. ‘Have you thought about ... how we utilise space?’ is the latest vodcast in this series and is available now for viewing in the Facebook Video tab.

New vignette in the Connecting with practice—EYLF and NQS series

Join the EYLF PLP Facebook community for a constant flow of discussion and resources guaranteed to get you thinking about how early childhood practitioners all around Australia are implementing the EYLF and to give you some ideas about achieving the National Quality Standard.

'Routines around lunch' is the latest in the Connecting with practice—EYLF and NQS series which captures the lead-up to lunch in a family day care home. The supporting documentation released with this video allows educators to look at the footage from a range of NQS perspectives.

The EYLF PLP social media experience survey

If you haven't done so already, we would like you to tell us how you find the EYLF PLP social media experience. Please fill in the EYLF PLP social media survey to help us provide the early childhood education and care sector with resources relevant to their current needs. Your feedback will help us to facilitate the transition to the National Quality Standard Professional Learning Program (NQS PLP) and improve your online experience.


Your ECA Conference monthly update

Registration is now open!

Online registration for the conference is now open. Click here to register online today, or visit www.ecaconference.com.au/registration.html.

Members of Early Childhood Australia are entitled to a discount on conference registration fees. Register before 31 July 2012 to access discounted early bird rates!


ECA Greenwatch

WWF Earth Hour Awards—school finalists

Children at two state primary schools have been listed as finalists in the World Wildlife Fund Earth Hour Awards for their outstanding efforts to create a more sustainable future. Read about the shortlisted projects at the Earth Hour Awards website or vote for your favourite finalist in the People’s Choice Awards. Voting closes at midnight on 29 March.

Plan a ‘Green Hour’

Do you live in an urban space? Recent statistics show that 89 per cent of Australians do. Why not find your local green spaces and plan a regular children's 'green hour'? Click here for a great idea for connecting children with maps, their environment, and allowing them unstructured outdoor play.


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. These two titles both support educators in their teaching of social inclusion to young children.

Anti-bias education provides practical guidance on confronting and eliminating barriers of prejudice, misinformation and bias in ECEC settings and offers tips on helping children and staff respect themselves and all those around them.

Building bridges book and DVD pack is a flexible resource designed to help educators working with Indigenous children and their families to connect their curriculum with the needs and culture of the child’s community.


Conferences and dates

2012 SunshineCoast C&K Conference—17 March 2012
Glen Eira City Council: ‘Quality in Practise’ Early Years Conference—19 March 2012
UnitingCare Institute of Family Practice: Engaging men in family-based programs—19 March 2012
TheAustralian National Quality Standards Conference—21 March–23 May 2012
Teachers’ Toolbox for environmental change—22 March 2012
UnitingCare Institute of Family Practice: Strengths-based therapeutic work with children—23 March 2012
National Montessori Early Childhood Education and Care Conference—31 March–1 April 2012
Orff Level 1 & 2 Courses—10–14 April 2012
2012 Montessori International Conference and Masterclasses—11–15 April 2012
QSA's Annual Conference 2012—11–13 April 2012
QSA 2012 conference Shaping teaching and learning: Theassessment factor26 April 2012
Provocations for Practice: Reggio Emilia in Singapore—26–28 April 2012 Playgroup Victoria state conference 2012—3–4May 2012
Australian Community Children’s Services (ACCS) Conference—18–19 May 2012
New Zealand Early Childhood Council 2012 Conference—25–27 May 2012
2012 BrisbaneC&K Conference—26–27 May 2012
InclusiveStrategies for Special Needs Learners—30–31 May 2012
Technology in K-12 EducationNational Congress 2012—30 May–1 June 2012
2012 Early ChildhoodEducation Conference—1–2 June 2012
Practicaland Effective Strategies for Implementing Differentiated Instruction in theElementary Classroom workshop—1–2 June 2012
Modelsof Early Childhood Services International Conference—5–6 June 2012
Family Day Care Australia National Conference: Children—The heart of the dream—18–21 July 2012
National Protective Behaviours Australia Conference—20–21 July 2012
Early Childhood Australia National Conference: Consulting the Compass—defining directions—3–6 October 2012

The ECA Events Calendar has been disabled until further notice due to technical difficulties. Contact us to have your conference or event added to the ECA WebWatch calendar.


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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ECA WebWatch - Issue 133, February 2012. © Early Childhood Australia.


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

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