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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The best of early childhood news!

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In this issue, we look forward to celebrating the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, with the 2016 theme of My Country, Our Country—We All Belong. The Australian Government has announced a Royal Commission into Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems following an ABC Four Corners program and the National Education and Care Services Ombudsman was reappointed by the Education Council. Save the Children released the latest Child Prosperity Index, which placed Australia fourth overall and the Children’s eSafety Commissioner published their report card for the past 12 months. We let you know about free resources including a webinar on Supporting family recovery, the Stepping Up for Kids booklet and a guide to support the inclusion of refugee families. Read about a new television series for deaf and hard of hearing children, titled Sally and Possum. In state news, new research has been announced for Tasmania while funding announcements have been made for schools and early childhood services in Western Australia.

Jump down to find out what the various ECA teams and projects have been up to and the new resources available for the early childhood sector.

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Celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
Held on 4 August, the day is all about celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, connection to each other and the future together. The theme for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day 2016 is My Country, Our Country—We All Belong. Visit the website for more information or for ideas on how to celebrate Children’s Day.


Royal Commission into Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems
Following video footage of the abuse of children in the Northern Territory juvenile detention system, revealed on the ABC’s Four Corners program, the Australian Government has announced the establishment of a Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems of the Government of the Northern Territory. Click here to read more about the commission.


Free resource—Stepping Up for Kids
The Australian National University has developed a new resourcethe Stepping Up for Kids bookletfor teachers, early childhood educators, health workers and any adults who work with children and young people. The booklet aims to dispel common myths about the impact of family violence on children and to help adults to identify signs of problems at home. The booklet is available to download here.


Latest Child Prosperity Index places Australia fourth overall
Australia has ranked fourth overall in the latest Save the Children’s Child Prosperity Index. The index reports on scores of each of the G20 nations in eight areas: health, education, gender equality, income, safety, employment, infrastructure and environment. While Australia scored highly in the income and safety categories, there was a poor result for protecting the environment and universal education.


Guide to support inclusion of refugee families
A resource developed by Foundation House (Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture), and supported by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, aims to support dialogue with refugee families and to promote inclusion. The guide describes a project that involved community advisors from the Chin community in Brimbank in Victoria. While the resource focuses on the project with the Chin community, the model and its outcomes are useful for all communities from refugee backgrounds. 


National Education and Care Services Ombudsman reappointed
The Education Council convened a meeting on 21 July 2016 and agreed to an extension of the appointment of Ms. Lesley Foster to the roles of National Education and Care Services Ombudsman, Freedom of Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner. Ms Foster has held these positions for the past six months and has been reappointed to 30 June 2018. 


Report card for the Children’s eSafety Commissioner
The 12-month report card has been released by the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner, detailing the activity of the Office since its commencement. Click here to find out what the Office has achieved over the past year.


No Jab, No Pay policy boosts immunisation rates
Since the launch of the Australian Government’s No Jab, No Pay policy, more than 5738 children whose parents are receiving child care payments and were previously registered as vaccination objectors have been immunised. Click here to read the full media release.


New research announced for children and families in Tasmania
New research in Tasmania will track the progress of Tasmanian children from birth to age five to identify what services are valuable to families in supporting the health and education of children. Click here to find out who will be conducting the research. 


Funding announcements for WA schools and early childhood education and care centres

As part of Liberal National Government funding, a total of $395 320 has been awarded to 10 regional organisations to strengthen the provision of local early childhood education and care. Click here for more details.

WA Education Minister Peter Collier announced that 61 public primary schools will receive up to $20 000 each for new playgrounds and shade sails. Click here to view the complete list of primary schools receiving funding.


Webinar—Supporting family recovery

Emerging Minds and the Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) initiative are hosting a free webinar—Placing family at the centre of mental health recovery—about how practitioners can support recovery in families affected by a parent’s mental illness. The webinar, presented by Rhys Price-Robertson, Angela Obradovic and Gemma Olsen, will be held from 1.30–2.30 pm AEST on 11 August 2016. Click here for more information.


New television series for deaf and hard of hearing children

A new television series, Sally and Possum, has been designed to help deaf and hard of hearing children to develop literacy, numeracy and communication skills through play-based learning techniques. Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones said, ‘The series was locally produced in collaboration with early childhood teachers of the deaf, experts in early childhood language and literacy and members of Queensland’s deaf and signing community’. Click here to find out more. 

Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) resources to be updated

Queensland Education Minister, Kate Jones, has announced that the Queensland Department of Education’s Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) resources would be updated to provide more clarity and Queensland state school teachers will have more control over how they teach the Australian Curriculum from Term 1 2017. Read more here.
Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

Latest module
In our latest module ‘Supporting children’s self-regulation: birth to three years’, we focus on how educators can help very young children to learn how to understand, name and manage their emotions, and to begin to self-regulate their behaviour. Learn more about our newest module by clicking here.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Free forum
Click here to find out more about a free forum for Victorian ECA members and non-member guests to learn about Communicating the benefits of early childhood education: How the Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign can help you, to be held Tuesday 23 August at 5.45 pm for a 6.00 pm start at Gowrie Victoria, Docklands.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Social and emotional skills
Children begin developing their social-emotional skills during early childhood. These skills will influence their mental health now and in the future. KidsMatter has a broad range of information sheets about children’s mental health for families and early childhood staff. See the full list of information sheets.

Early Childhood Australia National Conference 2016

Scholarship closing date extended
The McArthur Early Childhood Leadership Development Scholarship closing date has been extended to midnight Sunday 7 August 2016. The scholarship is sponsored by McArthur and supported by ECA to inform and promote professional learning and the quality of early childhood leadership. Click here for more information.

Early Years Connect

New webinar
If you’re based in Queensland, register for our next webinar, ‘Building an inclusive team’, on Thursday 25 August at 12.30 pm. Presented by Penny Markham (National Lead, Social Inclusion at Goodstart Early Learning), the webinar will explore team-based planning for inclusion and how to support staff working with children with disability and complex additional needs.

The ECA Blog - The Spoke

Latest discussion
One of the latest posts on The Spoke, written by Heidi Gazelle, touches on Childhood shyness: when is it normal and when is it cause for concern? The post talks about shyness with other children and making friends and what adults can do to help a shy child. It also includes links to further resources and reading.


Calendar of events


To view upcoming early childhood events and professional development opportunities, click here to visit the ECA events page.



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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.
ECA WebWatch—Issue 241, August 2016.
© Early Childhood Australia 2016 - All rights reserved