ECA WebWatch

The best of early childhood news!

In this issue:

Plus regular ECA WebWatch items:

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Preschool children of parents with mental illness

We are seeking the voice and perspectives of early childhood professionals! We are researchers from Monash University (Faculty of Education) conducting a study investigating the workforce needs of service providers who work with families where a parent with mental illness has preschool aged children.

What is involved?
An online survey that takes about 15 minutes to complete. Participants are eligible to win 1 of 4 Gold Class Cinema tickets.

Click here to complete the survey. Or for more information, email

Early Childhood Australia is seeking a new Editor in Chief for the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood (AJEC). The position will require you to be Chair of the AJEC Committee, responsible for strategic oversight of the journal, and to sit on the ECA Publications Committee, which is responsible for directing ECA’s extensive publications program. Click here for more information, or apply for the position via by 5.00 pm on Wednesday 22 October 2014.

National news

Children’s e-Safety Commissioner announced

ECA has welcomed the announcement from Federal Minister for Communications the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP that a new e-Safety Commissioner will be appointed by the Commonwealth Government. ECA CEO Samantha Page says that education on safety in the online world must start as soon as children begin interacting with technology, ‘We need a greater focus on socio-emotional skills like resilience to support children in better managing their relationships with peers and resolving conflicts which may include future incidents of cyber-bullying’.

Government commited to moving NAPLAN online

The Australian Government has announced their commitment to moving the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test online. This announcement follows the release of the National Assessment and Surveys Online Program, Tailored Test Design 2013 Study from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, which reports on the benefits of moving NAPLAN online. Click here to read the media release.

Strong uptake in Government’s LDCPDP

Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, has announced that more than 50 000 long day care educators will benefit from the Long Day Care Professional Development Programme (LDCPDP). The $200 million investment will support long day care centres with the cost of training educators. The LDCPDP also aims to provide specific support for educators in regional, rural and remote services. Read Minister Ley’s latest media release here.

State and territory news

Bill passed for SA Children’s Commissioner

SA Minister for Education and Child Development, Jennifer Rankine, has welcomed the news of establishing a Commissioner for Children and Young People, after the bill passed through the Lower House. As Ms Rankine stated, ‘Our Bill allows for an independent, accessible Commissioner that can advocate on behalf of young South Australians, while ensuring its functions do not duplicate those of existing authorities’.

National Children’s Week celebrations in NT

The National Children’s Week is coming up! From 18–26 October, celebrations will be held around Australia to recognise the right of children to enjoy childhood.

As part of the week’s celebration, City of Darwin, ECA NT Branch, Territory Childcare Group and NAPCAN are organising a range of events for families. If you would like further information please contact City of Darwin on 8930 0561 or email:


Department of Education literacy and numeracy resource

Looking for ways to integrate literacy and numeracy learning into children’s every day activities and play? The Early Childhood Literacy and Numeracy: Building Good Practice resource can help you transform regular activities into opportunities for teaching literacy and numeracy concepts. Download the digital booklet and accompanying flashcards from the Department of Education website.

Free activities guide to support children’s brain development

The Harvard University Center on the Developing Child has developed an activities guide for ‘Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence’. The guide includes activities and games that will help educators and parents support the development of executive function and self-regulation in children. You can download the free guide from their website here.

Six practices for services to engage fathers

Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) have released their latest Gateway to Evidence that Matters publication—The role of fathers when a parent has a mental illness. This publication discusses the importance of the father’s role when they or their partner are experiencing mental illness and includes six main practice principles for early childhood services to engage fathers.

Educating young children about Triple Zero

A new teachers guide to help educate young children about how to use the Triple Zero Service has been launched by Minister for Justice Michael Keenan. The guide is aligned with the Australian Curriculum and supports educators to teach children how to identify, react to and report emergencies. The guide also complements the Triple Zero Kids’ Challenge online game which consists of nine different scenarios that teach children how to utilise the Triple Zero service. Find out more here.


Importance of preschool highlighted in EPPSE project

An Oxford University study that followed 3000 children from early childhood to age 16 has found that a child is more likely to have better grades and earn higher wages if they attended preschool. The results of the Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary (EPPSE) project found that the effect of a preschool education was even greater if the preschool was of high quality and that early education was especially important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Other early childhood news

App reminds parents about immunisation dates

The NSW Health department have developed an app to remind parents about important immunisation dates for children. The Save the Date app has been welcomed by the Australian Medical Association NSW, as President Dr Saxon Smith stated, ‘It’s important to make sure they are done on time … both for your child’s safety and to help maintain herd immunity to prevent illnesses like whooping cough getting a foothold in the community’.

New facial recognition technology allows online police checks

National Crime Check (which is accredited with the CrimTrac agency—a division of the Federal Attorney General’s Department) have released new technology to streamline the process of police checks. The new method uses facial recognition technology with the documentation arriving within 24–48 hours. The only requirement is access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer with internet connection. You can find out more through their website here.

What will your promise be?

Friday 10 October will mark World Mental Health Day, as part of the National Mental Health Week initiative. You can make a mental health promise to yourself, and even log it on the website. You can create your own promise, or choose from a list of provided promises. Everyone can be a part of the campaign to improve mental health.

ECA Learning Hub

‘Screen time and young children—what are the issues?’

Save the date for our next webinar: ‘Screen time and young children— what are the issues?’ on Thursday 23 October.The webinar will run twice at 2.00 pm and 6.00 pm (AEDT). Join Professor Leon Straker and Dr Erin Howie from Curtin University to discuss the health aspects of technology use by children, and how to prevent problems before they develop. Bookings for the two webinars will open next week here.

You can purchase previous Learning Hub webinars, including ‘Having fun with maths and numeracy in early childhood settings’ here.

The Outside angle‘No more passion!’

Have you heard many early childhood educators describe themselves as ‘passionate’? Have you heard too many use the term ‘passionate’? In a provocative Outside angle think-piece, Anne Stonehouse explores what ‘passion’ really means, and suggests that it’s not accurate and not at all helpful for those trying to explain the complexity of their work.

Did you know—you can manage your team’s training online?

You already know about our online learning modules. But did you know that, for no extra cost, you can manage the online training for your whole team? Registering as a group gives you administrative access to LearnForce Learning Management System (LMS), the engine running the training. This enables training managers and administrators to record, assign and generate reports on all training undertaken. To find out more about group pricing options, email us at or phone 1800 356 900 (free call in Australia).

KidsMatter Early Childhood update

Look at me, listen to me, be with me—Exploring what ‘tuning in’ means for children, educators and families

On Wednesday 8 October, 2014 join Judy Radich and KidsMatter Facilitator Rita Johnston in a webinar that unpacks ‘being in tune’ with children?why it matters and how we achieve this. They will explore how the KidsMatter Early Childhood Framework, the National Quality Standard and the Early Years Learning Framework can support educators in looking, listening and being with young children in a busy world.

You can register for the live event, or if you are unavailable on the night you can register to receive a recording of the event!

Reconciliation Action

New paper on the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practices

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has released a new paper—Strengths of Australian Aboriginal cultural practices in family life and child rearing. This paper looks at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional practices and how the characteristics of these contribute to family functioning. It also explores traditional practices in terms of having a positive effect on children and the community. The paper is available for download here.

Supporting inter-agency partnerships

The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) have released a training manual which aims to support genuine inter-agency partnerships in service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. The manual includes processes that will support and facilitate relationships between organisations.

Latest ECA publication

Every Child Volume 20 Number 4

Every Child Vol. 20 No. 3

Transitions and collaborations
Starting school is a big step in the lives of children and their families. This issue of Every Child includes a selection of articles that focus on understanding and supporting children’s transition to school.

In the opening guest statement, patron of Early Childhood Australia His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), discusses the importance of supporting and protecting Australia’s most precious national asset­—our children.
Order your copy today! 

Services for Young People at Risk – Fitzroy Valley

The Children and Community Services Ministerial Body through the Department for Child Protection and Family Support (the Department) is seeking responses from suitable respondents to provide services for young people—Fitzroy Valley.

The service will provide support, diversional and recreational activities and case management to young people at risk in the Fitzroy Valley region. The service will contribute to the achievement of the Department’s desired outcome by providing early intervention strategies to prevent the risks to young people escalating, and diverting young people away from high risk situations that may impact on their safety.

Western Australia

Closing date: 10 Oct 2014

Children and Schooling Programme

This programme supports activities which nurture and educate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, youth and adults to improve pathways to prosperity and wellbeing. This includes improving family and parenting support; early childhood development, care and education; school education; youth engagement and transition; and higher education. The programme has a critical focus on increased school attendance and improved educational outcomes which lead to employment.


Closing date: 17 Oct 2014

Click here to view an extended list of current tender and grant opportunities.

Conferences and dates

Click here to view the full calendar of conferences and events on the ECA website.Early Childhood Australia disclaimer
The opinions expressed in the articles and external links are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Early Childhood Australia.Subscribe
If you have received this copy of ECA WebWatch from a friend and wish to sign up yourself, simply send an email with the subject of Subscribe WebWatch to: WebWatch—Issue 197, October 2014. © Early Childhood Australia.

World Mental Health Day National 10 Oct
KU Annual Conference 2014 NSW 18 Oct
Children’s Week National 18–26 Oct
Starting Early: Red Flags and Treatment Tips for Toddlers on the Autism Spectrum Online 21 Oct
UNICEF Day for Children National 22 Oct