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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch
 

The latest early childhood news!
 

In this issue: time is running out to register for the 2017 ECA Reconciliation Symposium with less than 30 tickets remaining; a new resource sheet, Corporal punishment: Key issues, explores the factors that influence the use of corporal punishment; a major study into the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children has found programs and policies to promote healthy weight should target children as young as three; and a broad range of topics were covered at the 12th Education Council Meeting. In other news, architects worked with families with infants and toddlers to help create their dream library at the State Library Victoria; Big Fat Smile has welcomed its new CEO, Jenni Hutchins; and breaking the cycle of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home-care is the focus of Queensland’s first social impact investment initiative. A report has become available from Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) titled, Strengthening prevention and early intervention services for families into the future; the Australian Education Union invites you to sign the Protect our Preschools petition; the Valuing Children Initiative has found that 70 per cent of Australians believe that children ‘belong’ to their parents; and the Australian Childcare Alliance NSW has responded to NSW Planning’s release of a Draft State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). Next month, get on board with National Families Week from 15–21 May and the 2017 Early Childhood Education (ECE) Conference—together we grow the child in focus from 26–27 May, hosted by Early Learning Association of Australia and Gowrie Victoria. In addition, the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) is inviting applications to volunteer with them for a week in one of eight remote communities in the Northern Territory. 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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Corporal punishment
 
A new resource sheet released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies: Child Family Community Australia, Corporal punishment: Key issues, is designed to inform service providers and practitioners about corporal punishment research and legislation. It explores the factors that influence the use of corporal punishment, provides an overview of alternative disciplinary techniques and summarises current legislation in Australia.
 

 

Closing the gap in health
 
A major study into the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children has found programs and policies to promote healthy weight should target children as young as three. Improving weight status would have a major benefit in closing the gap in health between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The research used data from Footprints in Time, a national longitudinal study that has followed more than 1000 Indigenous children since 2008.
 

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National Families Week
 
National Families Week is coming up next month from 15–21 May. Each year more than 100 000 people and hundreds of organisations celebrate National Families Week—Australia’s annual celebration of families. The aim of National Families Week is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society. Get involved and register an event today. 
 

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Protect our Preschools
 
Support the Australian Education Union’s (AEU) ‘Protect our Preschools’ campaign to keep Universal Access funding. Losing this funding will risk going backwards on four-year-old participation in early childhood education. The AEU invites you to sign the Protect our Preschools petition for permanent funding. E: aeu@aeufederal.org.au.
 

 

Designing a dream library
 
The Andrews Labor Government has unveiled new designs for the $88 million redevelopment of State Library Victoria. The architects worked with primary and secondary students, as well as families with infants and toddlers, to help create their dream library. The result is a new Children’s Quarter featuring a treehouse-style reading and play area. Click here for the full story.
 

 

New report from FRSA
 
Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) has launched a new report titled Strengthening prevention and early intervention services for families into the future. This report highlights the untapped potential in the family and relationships sector to identify risk factors across a broad range of health and social issues faced by the children, families and communities they work with.
 

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Children 'belong' to their parents
 
A survey commissioned by the Valuing Children Initiative has found that 70 per cent of Australians believe that children ‘belong’ to their parents, suggesting a strong consensus on the traditionally subordinate place of the child in the family until they reach the age of 18.
 

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Childcare oversupply in parts of NSW
 
The Australian Childcare Alliance NSW has responded to NSW Planning’s release of a Draft State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), which is intended to speed up development applications, resulting in an acceleration of childcare oversupply.
 

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Big Fat Smile—new CEO
 
Big Fat Smile has welcomed its new CEO, Jenni Hutchins. With 20 years’ experience in the child and family sector, Ms Hutchins brings a wealth of support, knowledge and experience to her new role.
 

 

Volunteer for a week with National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy
 

Would you like to increase your cultural awareness and understanding of issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people? Volunteer for a week with National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) in one of eight remote communities in the Northern Territory (NT). Applications close 17 April. Successful applicants will receive induction training in Sydney during May and will be placed in NT communities from 3–10 June. Contact NASCA for an application form today.
 
 

2017 Early Childhood Education Conference—together we grow the child in focus
 

The 2017 Early Childhood Education (ECE) Conference—together we grow the child in focus will be held in Melbourne from 26–27 May. Hosted by Early Learning Association of Australia and Gowrie Victoria, this year’s conference will have more than 70 presenters including Edward Melhuish, Helen Skouteris, Anne Stonehouse and Rhonda Livingtone. Make sure you register by 28 April to receive an early bird discount. View the full program here and click here to download the ECE Conference app.
 
 
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Breaking the cycle

 

Breaking the cycle of the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home-care is the focus of Queensland’s first social impact investment initiative, announced by Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt. The New Parent Infant Network (NEWPIN) service is the first Social Benefit Bond (SBB) to be contracted in Queensland.

 
 

Education Council meeting

 

In the 12th Education Council Meeting a broad range of topics were covered including: commitment to a range of immediate actions to further address fraud and systemic issues in the family day care sector; discussion of future school funding and reforms; updated progress towards the transition to NAPLAN online and the agreement to release 2016 data from the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) on school students with disability.

 
 

In state and territory news ...
 

In Victoria, curious kids got the chance to get up close to penguins at a special playgroup event at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium; the Palaszczuk Government is stepping up measures to ensure a positive transition from kindergarten to Prep for Queensland’s youngest students; State Labor will introduce legislation into the New South Wales (NSW) Parliament to ban the setting up of specialist anti-vaccination child care centres in NSW; in South Australia, safety standards on all Department of Education and Child Development school buses have been increased thanks to a $114.5 million State Government investment. All 455 bus services on school routes are now fitted with seat belts and air conditioning; schools across the Northern Territory have final details of their budgets for the year, which includes their share of Labor’s $124 million reinvestment into education—the extra money for Territory government schools will make a real difference for students; and more Victorian families will have access to the critical support they need during and after the birth of their child thanks to the expansion of an intensive family and early parenting support program.

 
Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub
 

It's survey time!
 
Let us know how the ECA Learning Hub is working for you with the 2017 Learning Hub Survey. Complete this five-minute survey to go into the running to win a Learning Hub Individual Annual Subscription—valued at $390! To begin the ECA Learning Hub survey, click here.
 

KidsMatter Early Childhood
 

Easter snacks and activies
 
As the long weekend draws closer, are you starting to look for healthy snacks and activities for young children over this Easter break? Visit the Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign’s Healthy Active Holidays Facebook Album for some ideas.
 

KidsMatter Early Childhood
 

Community hub
 
Discover how a community in Tasmania started their own KidsMatter Learning Hub from general concern about the mental health and wellbeing of young children in the area. Click here to learn how their journey led them from a Getting Started session to what they’re doing now.
 

Early Years Connect
 

Write for Early Years Connect
 
Do you have something to say about building inclusion for children with disability and complex additional needs? Would you like to write a short piece (200–500 words) for publication on the Early Years Connect blog? Email Early Years Connect for more information.
 

Start Early
 

Updated resource
 
An updated version of Your child's first year at school is soon to be released. The new title, First year at school: Essential tips for parents and carers, will feature a range of online resources. Keep an eye on the ECA website for when this resource becomes available.
 

Early Childhood Australia Reconciliation Symposium
 

Don't miss out!
 
Registration for the 2017 Reconciliation Symposium closes Friday 21 April. There are less than 30 tickets remaining, so get in quick to avoid missing out! The Symposium brings the matter of reconciliation in early childhood into the spotlight and works towards a better future for all Australians.
 

 
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 257, April 2017.
© Early Childhood Australia 2017 - All rights reserved