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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

In this issue, the Closing the Gap report has been released and we welcome registrations for the 2017 ECA Reconciliation Symposium. Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has called on all parties to stop playing politics with the Child Care Subsidy Reform and is concerned about changes to Paid Parental Leave; Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT announces the launch of the Working Together Agreement package; and the fifth Australian Child Health Poll has been released. In other news, the Andrews Labor Government is expanding community playgroups; a number of changes have been made to the National Quality Framework; Family Day Care Australia has released its Family Day Care Sector Profile; and the CareforKids website now offers a unique collection of resources for parents. Two surveys are also available: an ECA survey to determine which languages to translate the Code of Ethics to; and a survey for NSW early childhood educators about young gifted children. Around the country, Planet Ark invites you to join Schools Tree Day and National Tree Day as site coordinators; the call for abstracts for the 7th SNAICC National Conference closes on 27 February; and Reggio Children’s the Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition will be on display in Melbourne from February–July 2017. And finally, we fill you in on the latest state and territory news.

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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Closing the Gap
The Closing the Gap report released on Tuesday shows that the enrolment of Indigenous children in early learning in the year before school increased to 87 per cent in 2016. However, ECA supports the call by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) to broaden the early years targets to include reporting on access to early learning for all children under five, not just in the year before school. 


Translating the ECA Code of Ethics
Early Childhood Australia (ECA) is committed to inclusion. Because of this, we wish to translate our sector’s Code of Ethics brochure into the top three (3) languages spoken by Australia’s educators and early learning professionals. Please take two minutes to fill out this simple survey. We will keep you informed of the results as they become available.


Call for abstracts
The call for abstracts for the 7th SNAICC National Conference is closing soon! If you wish to be part of this powerful and inspiring event, make sure you submit your abstract by Monday 27 February. The SNAICC National Conference will be held from 12–14 September 2017 at Canberra's National Convention Centre.


Family day care
The release of Family Day Care Australia's Family Day Care Sector Profile has highlighted the role that family day care plays in early childhood education. The report highlights that family day care services are particularly critical for families from regional and remote areas, or other areas of disadvantage.


Changes to the NQF
The Australian, state and territory education ministers have agreed to changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF) following consultation with the sector as part of the broader review of the NQF. The changes will commence 1 October 2017 in all states and territories (except WA which will commence by 1 October 2018). A revised National Quality Standard will be introduced on 1 February 2018 in all states and territories (including WA).


Stop playing politics
ECA has called on all parties to stop playing politics with the Child Care Subsidy Reform and is concerned about changes to Paid Parental Leave. Changes in the proposed legislation extend combined leave from 18 to 20 weeks—however, parents will not be able to access this leave in combination with employee funded paid parental leave. ECA supports the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 26 weeks of paid parental leave. Listen to further discussion here.


Investing in playgroups
The Andrews Labor Government is expanding community playgroups to give Victorian children the best start in life. The investment will support the opening of 36 new playgroups and help 23 existing playgroups expand the number of sessions they run.

The website is a comprehensive childcare resource providing parents with a unique collection of articles, resources and services to learn more about the early childhood education and care sector.


Connecting with nature
Planet Ark invites you to join Australia's biggest nature care initiative and community tree planting event by volunteering to be site coordinators for Schools Tree Day (Friday 28 July) or National Tree Day (Sunday 30 July)—promote the importance of a lifelong connection to nature for children.


Must-see exhibition


Hosted by Guardian Early Learning Group, Reggio Children’s the Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition will be on display in Melbourne from February–July 2017.
The exhibition documents the incredible capabilities of children as seen through the pedagogical journey of the infant toddler centres and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.


Young gifted children


All NSW early childhood educators are invited to participate in a survey about young gifted children in the early childhood setting. Your support and participation in this five-minute survey will be very valuable. No prior knowledge about giftedness or early entry is needed for your participation. The survey can be accessed here and the research will be used to inform future plans for coursework about gifted children.


Working Together Agreement package

Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT is pleased to announce the launch of the Working Together Agreement package. This package is designed to support inclusion for young children with disability and/or developmental delay in the context of changes due to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rollout.


Stay safe outdoors


The fifth Australian Child Health Poll has been released and explores parent knowledge and safety behaviours in relation to common outdoor activities including riding bikes and scooters, trampoline use and swimming. Unfortunately, findings reveal a concerning disregard for many safety recommendations and low levels of first aid and CPR knowledge.


In state and territory news ...

In Victoria, a new and bigger community legal service will introduce an exciting and innovative project to tackle family violence in Melbourne’s north-west; Term 1 group programs are underway in the Australian Capital Territory at three child and family centres; the ‘Stop. Look. Listen. Think.’ campaign sends a vital message to Tasmanian drivers; the Draft Education and Childcare State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for New South Wales was released on 4 February; an innovative new child safety trial supporting vulnerable Ipswich families in Queensland is proving a success; and new child protection laws are to be introduced in South Australia.

AJEC 1604 available now
Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

Ready to dive into STEM?
In this new Learning Hub release, Dr Kate Highfield examines what can occur when educators integrate the four content pillars of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and encourage deep learning experiences. Ready to dive into STEM? This module will be available on the ECA Learning Hub website next week. 

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Latest story in our family blog
How do children ‘learn to learn’ in early childhood education?
Teacher and education consultant Erica Gardner reflects on her daughter’s experiences as she starts school, including helping her recognise, acknowledge and manage her emotions, and encouraging the curiosity of her and her peers.


KidsMatter Early Childhood

Starting school information sheets
These resources contain useful tips, strategies and information about starting school. Print them to display, use part of the sheet in a newsletter or send it home in its entirety; remember that making and taking an opportunity to chat with families about these information sheets is ideal. Download the resources here.

Early Years Connect

Sensory processing
Register today for February’s webinar, 'Sensory processing: Helping children belong and learn', presented by Autism Queensland’s Dr. Jill Ashburner from 6pm (AEST) Wednesday 22 February. This webinar is free for all staff, approved providers and governance bodies of Queensland-based ECEC services.


Live Wires magazine
The third issue of Live Wires will be available soon! Funded by the Digital Business Kit, this issue will focus on the ‘hot topic’ of STEM and will include looking at ways to activate STEM thinking and skills in early childhood and how parents/carers and educators can show support. This issue will be available with Vol. 23 No. 1 of Every Child.

Early Childhood Australia Reconciliation Symposium

Don't forget to register!
Engage in facilitated discussions, reflect on key topics and discover practical tips that can have a lasting impact. Make a difference within your early years settings and communities by attending the 2017 Reconciliation Symposium from 5–6 May 2017. Register now for this interactive two-day event!

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 253, February 2017.
© Early Childhood Australia 2017 - All rights reserved