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Assistant Minister for Education, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, attended the official National Children’s Week opening at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday.
In her speech, Ms Ley highlighted the Government’s commitment to supporting Children’s Week 2014, with this year marking the 25th anniversary of Australia’s commitment to the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. ‘The theme of this year’s Children’s Week is the right of children to speak and be heard, and we are dedicated to protecting this right for all young people in Australia.’ Ms Ley said.
The review authors recognised the ‘vital importance of the early years of schooling in terms of a student’s educational development’ and that these years deserved special consideration within the Australian Curriculum. The review and the government’s response will be taken to the Education Council of state and territory education ministers in December for consideration. Click here for more information.
Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, and Minister for education, The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, have announced $594,000 in funding for a national music mentorship programme. Commencing in classrooms in February 2015, the programme will be hosted by the Australian Youth Orchestra and will run for three years, establishing mentoring partnerships between professional music educators and classroom teachers with the goal of enriching music education in primary schools and engaging students in music education.
Findings released in the National Teaching Workforce Dataset and the results of the Staff in Australia’s Schools 2013 survey have reinforced the importance of lifting teacher education across the country. The reports suggest a need to improve teacher training and ‘classroom readiness’ in order to provide a world-class education for Australian students. The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education, said that ‘while the report shows that we have a workforce overwhelmingly passionate about teaching our young people, it clearly shows that many of them feel underprepared when entering the classroom.’ For further information, click here.
The Abbott Government’s new Child Care Compliance Taskforce has taken action against 24 services since July, ranging from suspensions and restrictions to the issuing of fines totalling $1.74 million dollars.
Family Day Care (FDC) accounted for over 90 per cent of claims, with action taken against 22 FDC co-ordination services across Australia. About half of the non-compliant co-ordination services were fined for making excessive claims for payments on behalf of children in their care, often without parents’ knowledge.
Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, has said that ‘the Government will continue to be vigilant in our quest to track down services doing the wrong thing and deter others from even considering it.’
Parents and services are encouraged to report any suspect activities to the Department of Education on 1800 664 231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State and territory news
NSW Health has developed an online resource with helpful information about childhood immunisations as well as a handy ‘save the date’ app which allows parents and carers to set reminders for when vaccinations are due. If the app isn’t your cup of tea, you can also print out an immunisation schedule which provides a summary of the vaccines that your child needs and when they should be given. Click here to save the dates.
The Victorian Department of Health has launched a new animation ‘Shop, store, cook and eat safe’ that illustrates the importance of food safety in the home. The animation stars Brian, Bobby, Billy and Bernie bacteria and reminds us of the importance of keeping bacteria away by shopping, storing, cooking and eating safely. Click here to watch ‘Shop, store, cook and eat safe’.
Free activities—National Recycling Week
As part of the build up to National Recycling Week (10–16 November), Planet Ark has developed curriculum-aligned lessons and activities to involve children in recycling and resource management. Three lesson activities, including ‘sorting waste’, ‘the paper cycle’ and ‘waste and packaging’ are currently available to download free from their website.
Research conducted by the University of New England reports on the experiences of grandparents who have limited or no access to their grandchildren. The aim of the research is to tell the stories of these grandparents in the hope that other grandparents in similar situations will realise they are not alone. The research has been presented by way of a film in the hope that seeing and hearing these stories will help service providers understand the pain grandparents experience and be better able to support them. Click here to view their stories.
Online module: ‘The role of certified supervisor’
Our latest online learning module is out now. ‘The role of certified supervisor’ is a clear and interactive guide to the role of the certified supervisor and the responsibilities of an educator taking on this position. It is designed to help both educators and managers understand their responsibilities under the National Law and Regulations.
November webinar: guess who’s coming to the Learning Hub …?
We are very excited to announce our first international webinar presenter on the Learning Hub: the amazing Ann Pelo, direct from the US. We loved her inspirational keynote address at the ECA National Conference in Melbourne in September, and we want to share her insights with our Learning Hub audience. So put this in your diaries now: choose from Friday 21 November or Saturday 22 November, both at 12.00pm. Registrations will open in early November.
A new resource that connects with KidsMatter
Connections is a new resource reinforcing the same key messages as KidsMatter Early Childhood. It has been developed by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health in consultation with early childhood educators and funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Education.
This resource can be used as a tool to complement the KidsMatter Early Childhood Framework; it has fact sheets, reflective questions, case studies and links to the National Quality Standard (NQS), Belonging, Being and Becoming—The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia and My Time, Our Place—Framework for School Age Care in Australia.
RECOGNISE is on the move
The RECOGNISE campaign is walking, driving, and cycling into remote, rural and urban communities to speak face-to-face with people about recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s Constitution. To find out more, follow the journey, or to make a donation, click here.
Strengths of Australian Aboriginal cultural practices in family life and child rearing
The Australian Institute of Family Studies has published a paper written by Shaun Lohoar from Child Family Community Australia, Nick Butera from the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, and Edita Kennedy from Swinburne University. The paper looks into the definitions of ‘family’ in non-Indigenous and Aboriginal contexts and goes on to explore four key themes—A collective community focus on child rearing helps children; Children need the freedom to explore and experience the world; Elderly family members are important to family functioning; Spirituality helps families cope with challenges. Click here to view the full publication, the key messages are also available to download as an infographic.
Tender and grant opportunities
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Conferences and dates
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