The best of early childhood news!
In this issue:
- Delivering quality efficiently—A Review of the NQF
- Australian Government commits $24.7 million to move NAPLAN online
- Healthy and Safe
- Think outcomes—Get real on delivering, measuring and communicating social change
- Victorian Government’s $850,000 boost to Teach for Australia
- One in five children start school behind
- Thrive before five and reduce inequality
Plus regular ECA WebWatch items:
- ECA Learning Hub
- KidsMatter Early Childhood update
- Reconciliation Action
- Quality-assured early childhood resources
- Conferences and dates.
The deadline for Expressions of Interest for the position of Editor in Chief for the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood (Click here for more information, or apply for the position via email@example.com.
Previous applicants need not reapply.
A Review of the National Quality Framework (NQF) for Early Childhood Education and Care is currently being undertaken by the Australian Government and all states and territories. The Review aims to identify what is working well, and what area need improvement to ensure that the best quality outcomes for children are being provided efficiently.
The next stage of the Review will involve consultation on proposed changes to the National Quality Framework using a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) which will be made publicly available for comment in November. click here.
The Australian Government has announced $24.7 million funding to construct the national platform for online NAPLAN testing across Australian schools. Online NAPLAN testing will see national testing move from a written format to a tailored online one with questions that vary in difficulty depending on the ability of the student. The funding should see online NAPLAN testing available nationally by 2016. The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne has said that ‘Every year there are concerns raised about “teaching to the test” and stress in the classroom over the national testing regime—NAPLAN online will end this’. To find out more, click here.
Family Planning Queensland is presenting an interactive webinar on 12 November, 2014, called Healthy and Safe: Supporting sexual development in early childhood and OSSHC. The webinar is designed to assist early childhood professionals and services to create a healthy and safe environment in which children learn about their bodies, relationships and being safe. Click here for more information or to register for the webinar.
State and territory news
The Centre for Social Impact (CSI), the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) and the Social Impact Measurement Network Australia (SIMNA) are hosting a two-day forum, entitled ‘Think outcomes’, designed to challenge, learn and develop a plan of action for the future of social outcomes in Australia.
Academics, researchers, strategic leaders and operational managers from all tiers of government, not-for-profit and philanthropic organisations, business and wider social economy are invited to come together to think outcomes.
The forum will be held over 20–21 November, 2014 at Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney.
For more information about this conference and the program, click here.
Victorian Government’s $850,000 boost to Teach for Australia
The Victorian Government has invested an additional $850,000 in Teach for Australia—a program designed to attract the best and brightest university graduates into teaching. The additional funding will see up to 50 highly skilled non-teaching university graduates join government schools, across metropolitan and regional Victoria, at the beginning of 2015. For more information on Teach for Australia, click here.
According to Click here for more information.
Improving early childhood education could raise overall population levels of academic achievement by as much as 5 per cent, and reduce socioeconomic inequality in education by 15 per cent, according to international research led by the University of Adelaide in conjunction with the University of Bristol in the UK.
Lead author Dr Catherine Chittleborough from the University of Adelaide says socioeconomic disadvantage is a known risk factor for education and related outcomes. ‘We’ve known for some time that intervening before the age of five can improve skills necessary for educational success … ’ she says, ‘ … by providing the appropriate educational support, we could make a difference to a lot of children’s lives.’
The study has now been published in the Child Development journal and can be accessed here.
Webinar: ‘Screen time and young children—what are the issues?’
Our last webinar gave a fascinating insight into the research on young children and screen time. Did you know that electronic media use can have social and emotional impacts on pre-schoolers? Or that some electronic devices encourage greater physical activity than ‘traditional’ classroom tools? Buy a recording of the webinar to get the full picture—available on our Facebook. We’ll give you the latest resource updates, links to interesting research and regular posts from our thinker-in-residence, early childhood expert Anne Stonehouse.
You are invited to a KidsMatter webinar: What’s the risk in play?
Play is important for learning—join the upcoming KidsMatter webinar and identify with us what play is and how it links to emergent curriculum, intentional teaching and great outcomes for children.
On Tuesday 11 November, 2014 at 6.30 pm (AEDT) join Neville Dwyer and Leanne Harding in exploring what play is and how it links to great outcomes for children. Topics covered include:
- setting the scene for play by considering what happens when children play and the role of early childhood educators’ as play facilitators
- unpacking play against curriculum frameworks and the National Quality Standard
- contextualising play within the KidsMatter Early Childhood Framework
- exploring ways to engage children and adults in play-based learning
- sharing ideas for how children’s play can assist educators to identify what children know
- exploring risk and its value in a play-based environment.
Registrations for the event are now open!
The journey to big school for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
Children and families’ first experiences with school have significant implications for educational and broader developmental outcomes. This is accentuated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, who experience higher vulnerability and exclusion in early childhood.
SNAICC are offering one-day workshops in Taree and Shepparton to support participants to develop the best possible transition program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. For many children this transition will set the pattern for inclusion or exclusion, and thus engagement or non-participation within mainstream education for that child’s schooling life.
The workshop will be held in:
Taree, NSW, on 6 November, 2014, 9.00am–5.00pm
Shepparton, Vic, on 10 November, 2014, 9.00am–5.00pm
Click here for further information.
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Tender and grant opportunities
Community Preschool Operational Support Program
The aim of Operational Support is to assist an identified group of preschools to adjust their operations to build capacity, making them more sustainable into the future. There are two streams to this.
The first stage is assistance from small business advisors, forming part of the Government’s Small Biz Connect program. Small Biz Connect funds a network of mobile business advisors to 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. That stream is already underway.
The second stage, which is being sourced through this request for proposal process, includes sector specialists providing mentoring support and early childhood education sector-specific advice to assistcommunity 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 program 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
|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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