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Early childhood news
New Early Years Workforce Strategy
Building on Investing in the Early Years—A National Early Childhood Development Strategy, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) has announced the National Early Years Workforce Strategy, aimed at improving the quality of education offered to students of early childhood education and care. By focusing on the skills and attributes of high quality early childhood educators, the Strategy aims to support the improvements in early childhood education and care that are being achieved by the National Quality Agenda. You can read about the Strategy here, watch the presentation at the launch of the plan (or read the transcript by downloading the pdf), or download the whole document.
What makes children feel safe?
As part of National Child Protection Week (last week, 2-8 September) Save the Children Australia has talked with children aged as young as four about what makes them feel safe. Giving children a voice on this issue is the Safety Report. For a summary of their ideas and suggestions, check the Top Tips.
New education goal for 2025
Last week Prime Minister Julia Gillard launched a new national education plan for school improvement, with the aim that Australian schools will be in the top 5 education systems in the world by 2025. Ms Gillard placed an emphasis on strong leadership for teachers and announced that the Federal government would be negotiating with each state Premier in order to secure an additional $6.5 billion in funding for schools, with the changes to be phased in over the next six years. Based on the Gonski Review (the Review of Funding for Schooling), the plan aims to allocate funds to schools according to the needs of each individual child enrolled.
Happy home learning for children and parents
This month, DEEWR's Best Start in Life e-Zine focuses on the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) in Whyalla, and the area’s first class of young graduates. The two-year home-based program involves parents playing an active part in developing their child’s love of learning before they start school. HIPPY’s unique approach supports parents to support their children. Read about educator Mandy Goodland’s journey with the program and the achievements of the children and families she works with here.
Play Your Part Awards: recognising outstanding prevention initiatives
As part of National Child Protection Week 2012, the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) awarded 11 individuals and organisations or their outstanding contributions to making our communities safer places for children. With one National winner and one winner from each of the states and territories, the awardees have been selected for their ability to inspire communities across Australia to continue contributing to the safety and wellbeing of children. You can read about their wonderful projects and achievements on the Play Your Part Awards Website. Keep an eye on the website - next year you will have the opportunity to nominate winners.
Crisis in Syria affecting families and young children
In Jordan, the Al Zaatari refugee camp is now sheltering thousands of Syrians who are fleeing the violence and unrest in their home country. In a recent visit, Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce spoke to mothers and their children, and expressed grave fears for the safety and health of families in the camp and those still within Syria. There are now over 25 000 people in the Al Zaatari camp, of whom more than half are children. Over 5000 are under the age of four.
Staying safe in the driveway
Since 2000, 14 young children have been killed at home as a result of having had a car reversing over them. Younger children, toddlers and babies are especially vulnerable to this danger. In response to these terrible statistics, the Victorian Government has launched a campaign to draw awareness to driveway accidents and is asking families to ‘never reverse until you know where they are’.
Childhood allergies on the rise
Over several years the number and variety of allergies experienced by Australians has increased dramatically, and Australians are now reporting childhood allergies at a higher rate than any other country. Read more about the problem or watch an SBS report on the difficulties faced by ECEC services here. For more information on training in anaphalaxyis treatment, check ACECQA’s new list of approved training courses.
Homeless Dads need better support
With emergency accommodation and other help for homeless people often aimed at assisting mothers, a new study has prompted the federal Government to acknowledge that fathers often miss out. The research shows that connections to family are very important in re-establishing wellbeing, and that homeless fathers need assistance, such as safe spaces, to spend time with their children.
National Quality Framework
National Quality Agenda IT System goes live
The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has developed a useful new online business application for use in working with your state or territory Regulatory Authority - the National Quality Agenda IT System. You can use this system to access and submit forms, track applications and make payments.NQF item 2
Supporting ECEC practitioners
Fathers for School Readiness
The fathers and families program at the University of Newcastle’s Family Action Centre has developed a new website with resources for dads, mums and educators. The Fathers for School Readiness site focuses on how fathers can help their children to be ready for school, with an emphasis on play and literacy. The Educators section provides resources and handouts as well as a section linking Fathers for School Readiness into the Early Years Learning Framework.
If you are particularly interested in involving fathers and male educators in your service, you might also find Bringing Fathers in: Handbook to be a useful resource.
Removing barriers to Indigenous access of ECEC services
Most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families live in urban and regional areas of Australia, but many face barriers preventing their engagement with the ECEC services near them. To help educators in services better understand these barriers, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Family Studies, has a released a 17-page resource sheet that covers key issues on improving access to childhood services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in urban and regional areas. You can download the resource from the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) website.
Small grants available
Small grants of up to $5 000 are now available to education and care services and child-focused community groups to support, promote or encourage children’s educational potential. If your service is in need of support for resources, including (but not limited to) supplies, books, equipment, or excursions, go to the Max e Grants website to learn more about how you can apply.
NQS Professional Learning Program update
What do you think? Do Reconciliation, whales, asylum seekers and vegetarianism have a place in the curriculum?
Should incorporating explorations of controversial issues occur only in response to children’s interest or is it appropriate for educators to initiate these explorations at times? In the latest What do you think?Anne Stonehouse asks us what we think is appropriate in the curriculum, and what educators’ obligations are in reflecting or challenging prevailing views about these controversial issues.
Connecting with practice—EYLF and NQS
The latest vignette in the Connecting with practice—EYLF and NQS series of professional learning video vignettes, ‘Sandpit play’, is now available on the NQS PLP website. Vignettes in this series feature short sequences of practice designed to help educators use the Early Years Learning Framework to reflect on their practice, on their own or with other educators. Along with the supplied supporting documentation, these videos will help you to look at your practice from a range of NQS perspectives and to improve your support of children's learning.
Your ECA Conference update
It’s time to get excited!
The ECA National Conference is only 3 weeks away! Don’t be the one to miss out—register here today to be a part of Australia’s biggest early childhood conference.
There’s a lot to look forward to; social events and centre tours are still available. To find out more visit our social program at www.ecaconference.com.au.
You can register for social events and tours during the registration process. If you have already registered for the conference please email email@example.com to secure your spot.
Recycled education centres
Finding the resources to build schools and education centres is a struggle in many developing countries, while the disposal of rubbish poses a constant challenge. Hug It Forward is a US organisation devoted to helping communities in Central America tackle both of these problems by building ‘bottle schools’ - schools built from discarded plastic bottles. You can read about their successes on their website. Meanwhile, in the UK, children have been recognised for their creative sustainability in building a greenhouse for their vegetables - also from plastic bottles.
Quality-assured early childhood resources
ECA has a variety of quality-assured books available that will help you establish safe, welcoming and engaging environments for learning.
The following is a selection of ECA's bestselling titles to provide you with guidance in this area. All of ECA's publications are peer-reviewed by early childhood experts, so you can be assured that our publications are of the highest quality, and relevant to you and your work.
Conferences and dates
1st Biennial Australian Implementation Conference: Making Change Happen–25–26 October 2012
KU Annual Conference, ‘Nourishing the Spirit of the Educator’—27 October 2012
Unwrapping—Encouraging Risk in the Cotton Wool Generation—27–28 October 2012
Sharing our Stories: OOSH Weekend Retreat—16–18 November 2012
Rudolf Steiner Conference for Early childhood education—7–13 July 2013
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
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ECA WebWatch – Issue 147 September 2012
Last updated: (May 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm)