ECA in partnership with Thrive by Five Conversation Series draws together leading researchers, policy experts, advocates and educators to discuss three of the major issues facing the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector today: systems reform, children’s play and women’s workforce participation.
Thrive by Five is an initiative of Minderoo Foundation that is campaigning to make our early learning childcare system high quality and universally accessible. We believe this to be the most significant educational, social and economic reform of our era. Join the campaign here.
Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has been a voice for young children since 1938. We are the peak early childhood advocacy organisation, acting in the interests of young children, their families and those in the early childhood field. Become a member here.
Conversation 1 – A New Vision: The future of early childhood education in Australia
Friday 6 November 2020, 11.00 am–12.00 pm (AEDT)
Reform of Australia’s ECEC system is urgently needed. A new funding and delivery model will improve outcomes for young children, boost workforce participation by women and stimulate the economy as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. So what does Australia’s future early education system look like? Join us as we discuss a shared vision for the future. We’ll explore high-quality, accessible and affordable early childhood education for every Australian family; improved pay and conditions for educators; and the bipartisan commitment needed to secure universal preschool.
Conversation 2 – Play: Are our children getting enough?
Friday 4 December 2020, 11.15 am–12.15 pm (AEDT)
Play is the highest form of research, as Albert Einstein is said to have remarked. But even Einstein could not have predicted the ways in which children’s playtime would be squeezed in the 21st century. With family life increasingly busy and scheduled, opportunities for free play for children seem to be shrinking. Join us as we discuss the social and environmental changes that are affecting children’s playtime, and learn about the international research supporting the push for more free, creative and imaginative play. We’ll ask whether play is becoming neglected or devalued, and if so, how we can reset the agenda to reprioritise it—at home, in the community and in early learning settings. Click here to register.
Conversation 3 – Women and work: Improving the gender inequality
Friday 5 March 2021, 11.15 am–12.15 pm (AEDT)
Women bore the brunt of the COVID-19 economic shutdown. As we enter the recovery phase, what will help women regain their jobs, status and financial security? Join our panel to explore the role of early childhood education in supporting women to re-enter the paid workforce, and how female CEOs, business leaders and entrepreneurs can be empowered during this crucial time in our nation’s history. Registration opening soon.
|A New Vision: The future of early childhood education in Australia||Friday 6 November 2020||11.00 am–12.00 pm (AEDT)||Closed|
|Play: Are our children getting enough?||Friday 4 December 2020||11.15 am–12.15 pm (AEDT)||Open|
|Women and work: Improving the gender inequality||Friday 5 March 2021||11.15 am–12.15 pm (AEDT)||Opening soon|
Conversation 2 – Play: Are our children getting enough?
Jay Weatherill is the CEO of Thrive by Five, where he is responsible for delivering Minderoo’s early childhood agenda. Jay was Premier of SA for 6 1/2 years and Minister for 16 years in portfolios including Early Childhood. He holds Law and Economics degrees from the University of Adelaide. He is as Industry Professor at the University of South Australia, an Ambassador for Reggio Children and on the governance board for Great to Eight early childhood research project.
Dr Andi Salamon
Andi Salamon is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Teacher Education at Charles Sturt University, with 20 years’ experience as an early childhood educator. She was awarded her doctorate in 2015 and won the 2016 Beth Southwell Research Award for Outstanding Educational Thesis, followed by the Jean Denton Memorial Research Award in 2018. Andi is currently working on a project funded by the Jean Denton award, and is a Research Investigator with the collaborative project, ‘Young children in digital society: An online tool for service provision’. She is particularly focused on making her work accessible to professionals and carers who are working and living with very young children. An advocate for infants’ rights and quality early years learning experiences for all children, Andi brings her passion for optimal childhood learning into her work with pre-service teachers
Dr Kate Highfield
Kate Highfield is the General Manager of Professional Learning and Research Translation at ECA. As part of this role, she explores effective technology integration and use, with a focus on its potential effects on learning (for adults and children), pedagogy and play. Kate has spent over two decades working as a classroom teacher and as a teacher educator and researcher at several universities, including Swinburne, Macquarie and Charles Sturt. Her current research (supported by a range of grants and linkage projects) explores the impact of technology, as a tool, on young children, parents and educators.
Dr Rosemary Cahill
Dr Rosemary Cahill works for Telethon Kids Institute as Chief Investigator on an evaluation of the Early Years Initiative – a landmark ten-year partnership between the WA State Government and the Minderoo Foundation. Until recently, she was the Director of Early Childhood Education, Literacy and Numeracy within WA’s Department of Education. Rosemary has taught, shaped policy and led system-level projects for the WA public school system since the 1980s, most recently: implementation of the Universal Access National Partnership; the National Quality Standard in WA schools; Child and Parent Centres; and KindiLink.
Please find below a list of resources from the Thrive by Five A Conversation Series
- Lifting Our Game: Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools through Early Childhood Interventions
- Changing the Trajectories of Australia’s Most Vulnerable Children, Report 4, 24 Months in the Early Years Education Program
- Changing the Trajectories of Australia’s Most Vulnerable Children, Report No. 3, The Early Years Program Model
- Quality is key in early childhood education in Australia
- Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) Study: Final Report
- The E4Kids Study: Assessing the effectiveness of Australian early childhood education and care programs