ECA WebWatch

The best of early childhood news!

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National news

Soaking up the summer sun in safety

The summer months are almost upon us and of course this means an increased emphasis on sun protection for any outdoor time. During the summer months it is also important to remember that children need vitamin D from the sun for strong and healthy bones and muscles. The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne have put together a bunch of resources, including a handy map from the Cancer Council of Australia which gives an at-a-glance guide to how much time to spend outdoors without sun protection to get enough vitamin D. Click here to view the complete suite of information.

Postnatal Depression Awareness Week

Last week was Postnatal Depression Awareness Week, a week that offers an opportunity to raise community awareness about mental health issues in the ‘perinatal’ period which covers pregnancy to the first year after birth. The Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA) now has a postnatal depression fact sheet available in seven languages. Click here to download the fact sheets.

C&K Early Childhood conference, call for papers

The 2015 C&K Early Childhood conference, held over 23–24 May in Brisbane, will encourage delegates to make connections that contribute towards the growth of innovative services and programs that meet the diverse needs of children, families and communities.

Applications are now open to present in the four key strands:

  • Connecting with children and families
  • Connecting with community
  • Connecting with culture
  • Connecting with consciousness

If you would like to present at the conference, C&K will be pleased to accept your application up until Sunday, 23 November, 2014. Click here for more information.

Pathways for vulnerable children

The number of children in out of home care is constantly increasing. Both government and community service providers are finding it difficult to build organisational capacity whilst at the same time ensuring the safety of children in care. The ‘Pathways for vulnerable children’ event held in Melbourne over 17 & 18 March, 2015, will examine the latest strategies promoting collaboration and innovation to improve service delivery and quality of care for vulnerable children. Click here for full speaker information and registration details.

The Raising Children Network’s website has a new-look

The Raising Children Network website has been given a revamp; the new design makes it easier for educators and parents to find favourite features, from Parenting in Pictures to Autism and disability resources. Perhaps best of all, educators and parents can now personalise the Raising Children Network homepage to suit their needs. Click here to browse the new site.

State and territory news


$7.1 million for early childhood intervention places

The Napthine Government has announced that it will invest $7.1 million to provide early intervention services to about 400 Victorian children with a developmental delay or disability.

The $7.1 million investment will provide 292 Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) places over the next three years, which will assist about 400 children.

This commitment builds on the Napthine Government’s $34.3 million investment in the 2013–14 State Budget to significantly increase support for children with a developmental delay or disability. Click here for more information.

Preschool matters

Ahead of the Victorian State Election on 29 November, 2014, Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) is calling on both the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition to commit to the future of quality, affordable early childhood education for all Victorian children. ELAA are asking the next State Government to do three critical things to support quality early learning in Victoria:

• Maintain 15 hour kindergarten programs beyond 2015

• Support the National Quality Framework

• Resolve the industrial dispute in the early childhood education sector

For more information on ELAA’s standpoint, their contribution to the Victorian Council of Social Service blog can be viewed here.

ELAA have also set up an online space for Victorian educators and parents to send a message to the major parties that Preschool Matters—and Parents Vote. Click here to send your message.

Northern Territory

ECA NT Branch­ is hiring—Inclusion Support Agency Coordinator

Early Childhood Australia NT Branch (ECANT) Inclusion Support Agency Top End NT has a vacancy for a dedicated and influential Service Coordinator.  This is a great opportunity to join a dynamic not-for-profit organisation with a strong commitment to the rights of children and the principles of social justice.

  • Full-time position
  • Fixed term maternity leave contract until 30 January, 2016
  • Darwin NT, location

Click here for full details.

Western Australia

Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre is hiring

Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource is looking to recruit a Coordinator and three Educators. The ideal candidates will have a deep appreciation of Indigenous knowledge and a willingness to take guidance from the cultural leaders in the community. Applicants will hold relevant tertiary qualifications in early childhood and be able to demonstrate a commitment to early intervention and the learning styles of children aged birth to four years. Click here for more information.


Advertisement_Collins Acquisitions

Secrets revealed—how to get the best offer for your child care centre

For years G8 Education has been said to set the benchmark in Child Care sales in Australia. If anyone knows how you can sell your centre at an above market price it’s G8 Education.

For the first time ever Collins Acquisitions reveal their secrets to show how you too can get the best offer for your centre. If you’ve ever thought about getting an offer for your child care centre this is the place to start. Click here to read the full article.


Online resource—child aware practice

The Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) network has developed a new online resource for professionals, practitioners, team leaders and managers, or those who want to explore ways to implement child aware practice in their organisation or services.

‘Child aware practice’ has been designed to ensure that parenting roles and the needs of children are considered in all interventions with adults. The free course aims to enhance understanding about the impact that adult problems may have on children and to support practitioners to think about children early in any contact with a parent. Click here for full details.

Mysteries inside the egg cracked open

Children love watching chickens hatch. Now, thanks to the Poultry research group at the University of New England, children can watch the development of life inside the egg. The 21-day growth cycle of a chick embryo has been spliced into a two minute animation which is fascinating to watch. The clip has been put together with no narration, enabling educators to describe the visuals to children at their own pace. Watch the video here.


National Early Childhood Development Researchable Data Set

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new information paper outlining the processes undertaken in establishing the National Early Childhood Development Researchable Data Set (NECD RDS). This dataset aims to link health and education data, using both jurisdictional and national data sources, which would provide a valuable resource to researchers and policy-makers. The paper documents the privacy, legislative and data custodianship and supply hurdles encountered during the initial stages of establishing this data set. The paper concludes with a pragmatic approach for the next steps and way forward. Download the full paper here.


The Spoke

ECA is very excited to officially launch our blog, The Spoke. Here we will be publishing articles by Australia’s leading policy-makers, academics, experts, leaders and early childhood practitioners. Click here to join us over at The Spoke today!


ECA Learning Hub

New online learning module: ‘Outdoor learning’

On Monday, the ECA Learning Hub released the latest online learning module. ‘Outdoor learning’ is an invigorating exploration of the joys, benefits and practicalities of outdoor play and learning. The module shows how educators can plan and use outdoor spaces with children, and addresses some of the fears about risky play. The module features:

  • video interviews with educators
  • footage of outdoor learning environments
  • a visit to Bush Kinder
  • practical advice from Kidsafe.

You can buy the module here for just $38.50. But remember—if you’d like to purchase five or more modules in one transaction—contact us first to arrange your bulk discount: or 1800 356 900 (free call in Australia).

You can also purchase previous online modules, including ‘Documenting and assessing children’s learning’ here.

Upcoming webinar: ‘The great outdoors’

Save the date for our next webinar: ‘The great outdoors’ on Thursday 11 December. As Australians, we tend to think of ourselves as an ‘outdoors’ culture. But do we really make the best use of our outdoor spaces? How can we provide spaces that invite genuine, meaningful learning for children—not just a space for physical play, but one for inquiry, curiosity and exploration as well. This webinar will help to show you how. Bookings for this webinar will open later this week on our website.

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


KidsMatter Early Childhood update

KidsMatter Early Childhood is committed to bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being, knowing and doing to the initiative and making important mental health and wellbeing messages more accessible to everyone.

The KidsMatter Ways support our commitment and are underpinned by the messages and practices outlined in the eBook Learning on Country—What do ya know?

It is great to announce that all the KidsMatter Ways—Yarning Up podcast series, KidsMatter Ways Action Charts  and eBook—can all be found on ECA Learning Hub Pinterest boards. Thanks ECA Learning Hub for helping us to make this important information even more accessible.

And there is more good news … you can now easily locate resources about the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people developed across all the KidsMatter Initiatives on our website.


Digital Business Kit

High (tech) tea

ECA celebrated its Digital Business Kit (DBK) and a year of hard work and fun with a High (Tech) Tea and panel discussion at Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park on 14 November. Thanks to event partners Datacom and Storypark for their support and to the Department of Communications for the DBK initiative. Dan Donahoo (Project Synthesis), Mark Woodland (Woodland Education), Anita L’Enfant (Datacom) and Alexandra Harper (Redlands) lead a lively discussion on early childhood titled ‘Technology and early childhood: looking for proof or future proofing?’ Thanks to all who rearranged a busy day to attend and offer great questions from the floor on privacy, the ethics of images and data collection as well as the kinds of initiatives the sector would like to see.

The first 20 people to email quoting their favourite line from one of the DBK modules will receive a free Digital Business Kit package, including a USB loaded with DBK modules plus a copy of Live Wires—ECA’s new technology supplement. Click here to view the range of online DBK resources.


Reconciliation Action

A call to the Australian Government for greater leadership on crucial Indigenous issues

The latest Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage (OID) report has delivered a mixed bag of results—and a powerful argument for greater Australian Government leadership on a number of issues, including child protection, justice and early childhood funding. Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) has called on the Australian Government to create a Closing the Gap target on child protection to reduce the alarming and disproportionate contact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families with the child protection system. Read their full statement here.

Australia’s first Aboriginal children’s book is back in print

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is proud to republish Australia’s first Aboriginal children’s book—The legends of Moonie Jarl.  In 1964, The legends of Moonie Jarl became the first published Australian Aboriginal children’s book. Fifty years on, the stories continue to be shared among the Butchulla people, stories that they would like again shared by all Australian children. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation will officially launch the book in December this year. Click here for more information.


Every Child Subscription

Subscribe to Every Child today!

Every Child magazine puts the spotlight on the early years of childhood.

Articles focus on issues from local, national and political levels. Click here to find out more about subscribing to Every Child.

Keep an eye out for the latest edition: Every Child—expertise and efficiency

The early childhood sector holds a wealth of knowledge about children’s development and ways of implementing best practice initiatives to support the best interests of young children. The latest issue of Every Child contains a selection of articles showcasing innovative programs and practices as well as giving new insights into research and frameworks.


Tender and grant opportunities

St Ives Park Public School—Operation of an OOSH Service (NSW)

Tenders are invited for the operation of an Out of School Hours Care Facility at St Ives Park Public School. Tenders close 2.00 pm Tuesday 9 December 2014.

Click here for more information.

Closing date: 9 December 2014

Glenhaven Public School—operation of an OOSH Service with own Building (NSW)

Tenders are invited for the operation of an Out of School Hours Care and Vacation Care Facility at Glenhaven PublicSchool. The successful tenderer will be required tosupply a building as described in the tenderdocument.

Click here for more information.

Closing date: 11 December 2014 

Courier Mail Children’s Fund (Qld)

The purpose of this grant is to provide financial support to charitable organisations throughout Queensland to help them meet the needs of children with special needs.

Supporting a range of charitable organisations, the Fund has provided financial assistance for:

  • mobility and learning aids
  • educational equipment and assistance
  • recreational and respite programs
  • new technologies
  • medical equipment

Click here for more information.

Closing date: Ongoing


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


Conferences and dates

RightsTalk: Rights in a crowded classroom NSW 1 December 2014
Pathways for Vulnerable Children Vic. 17–18 March 2015
ECA Reconciliation Symposium SA 8–9 May 2015
C&K Early Childhood conference Qld 23–24 May 2015
Together We Grow Vic. 29–30 May 2015

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 201, November 2014. © Early Childhood Australia.

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