In the final issue of Every Child for 2023, editor Lynne Moore and author Leanne Mitts OAM focus on the importance of educator commitment in the path toward reconciliation. It is not enough to stand in solidarity; educators must take an active role in the reconciliation space to inspire hope for a better future.

Jo Goodwin and Wendy Gorman, Co-Chairs of the Early Childhood Australia Reconciliation Advisory Group, talk with Catharine Hydon about finding a way forward in the aftermath of the Voice referendum. In their interview, they discuss how educators can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and colleagues through this challenging time, and they reiterate the need for educators to move reconciliation forward with a focus on action as strong allies, walking alongside and doing better. Nicole Talarico writes on the unique place of cultural responsiveness in early childhood pedagogy and gives practical advice for ensuring these objectives are implemented across services.

This edition features several articles about the value of child-directed learning, and our authors offer great food for thought for early childhood educators and teachers putting theory into practice. Rosalie Domaschenz and Amy Barthet describe an inspiring learning journey across the school year that fostered students’ engagement with the Australian Curriculum as they led a research project about codes and DNA. Following on from her article in our last edition of Every Child, Dr Amelia Ruscoe highlights the need for children’s voices in curriculum decision-making with new research on how students’ and educators’ views about school exert a joint influence on each other in the Foundation year.

Dr Kym Simoncini talks strategies for getting the most out of block play by linking it to the Early Years Learning Framework (V2.0) Learning Outcomes and shares ideas for supporting child-directed learning with blocks, particularly STEM learning and language development. Dr Louise Paatsch also shares the latest research on the link between children’s play and the development of communication skills, language-learning and creative abilities. Tanya Steers and Christy-Lee Antonas of Hensman Street Elementary in WA share their nature-immersive pedagogy in a gorgeous feature that documents the school’s search for play and learning spaces beyond the classroom and in the community environment.

Finally, Dr Jane Warren and Blake Stewart share their expert advice about inclusion in early childhood education and care, explaining what it means to be truly inclusive of all children’s voices in the sector in addition to the necessity of working alongside families and embracing diverse ways of communicating and being.

We hope you enjoy the latest issue of Every Child!

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