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ECA WebWatch


National news

It’s National Children’s Week!

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 Australian Curriculum review

The Australian Government has released the final report on the review of the Australian Curriculum along with the Australian Government’s initial response.

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.

The day the music thrived

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.

Improve ‘classroom readiness’ for a world-class 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.

Sussan Ley urges families to ‘check your child care statements’

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

State and territory news

Don’t be late to vaccinate

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.

Shop, store, cook and eat safe

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.


Our absent grandchildren

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.

ECA Learning Hub

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.

KidsMatter Early Childhood update

 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.

There is an electronic copy of Connections available from the KidsMatter website.

Reconciliation Action

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.


Everyday Learning Series Subscription

Subscribe to the Everyday Learning Series today


The Everyday Learning Series provides wonderful suggestions about how to create positive learning environments for young children.Click here to subscribe.

Tender and grant opportunities


Community Preschool Operational Support Program

The aim of Operational Support Program is to assist an identified group of preschools to adjust their operations to build capacity, making them more sustainable into the future.

The first stage is assistance from small business advisors who provide advice to local small businesses, not-for-profits and social enterprises. The advisors will assist preschools in areas such as: financial planning, cash flow management, marketing, and strategic planning. NB. this stream is already underway.

The second stage, includes sector specialists providing mentoring support and sector-specific advice to assist community preschools in maximising their funding under the preschool funding model.

Click here for more information.

Closing date:

28 Oct 2014

Families and Children Activity expert panel

Individuals and organisations are invited to respond to the Request for Tender for Panel Members to support organisations funded under the Department of Social Services’ Families and Children Activity.  The Panel will help to build the capacity of service providers to deliver evidence-based programs and practices and continue to build this evidence base through evaluation, with a focus on prevention and early intervention approaches.

Click here for more information.


Closing date:

30 Oct 2014


Munch and Move

The NSW Ministry of Health has releases a Request for Tender to develop and deliver a new online training package for the Munch & Move program.

Click here for more information.


Closing date:

11 Nov 2014


National Stronger Regions Fund

The National Stronger Regions Fund is an initiative to boost social and economic development in Australia’s regions by funding priority infrastructure projects in local communities.

The Australian Government has committed $1 billion to the fund over five years commencing from 2015–16. Funding will be provided for capital projects which involve construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade, extension or enhancement of existing infrastructure.

Projects selected for funding should deliver an economic benefit to the region beyond the period of construction, and should support disadvantaged regions or areas of disadvantage within a region.

Local Government and incorporated not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply for grants of between $20,000 and $10 million.

Grant funding must be matched in cash on at least a dollar for dollar basis, and the funded part of the project must be completed on or before 31 December 2019.

Click here for more information.


Closing date:

28 Nov 2014

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

Conferences and dates

Mind & Its Potential 2014 NSW 27–28 Oct
International Greening Education Event (IGEE) Germany 29–31 Oct
National Recycling Week National 10–16 Nov
The University of Melbourne: Honoring the Child, Honoring Equity conference Vic 21–22 Nov
23rd Annual International Conference on Childhood Education England 15–19 March

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.


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ECA WebWatch—Issue 198, October 2014. © Early Childhood Australia.

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