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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

In this issue, it was a 'no surprises' Federal Budget for the early childhood sector; however, Early Childhood Australia (ECA) welcomes the 12-month extension to preschool funding; the government will look to strengthen its 'No Jab, No Pay' policy; and have your say by participating in a short survey to help ECA develop its Statement on young children and digital technology use. In other news, SNAICC is providing a workshop on building capacity to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experiencing family violence, and a number of new resources and reports are now available including: resources to support the education and care sector with the transition to the updated National Quality Framework; The prevalence of child abuse and neglect from Child Family Community Australia; a Report on the Evidence from the National Health and Medical Research Council; and a new Gonski position paper by the Menzies Research Centre. Also, keep your eye out for a variety of upcoming events around the country. National Reconciliation Week will be held from 27 May–3 June; Friday 19 May is National Walk Safely to School Day; the REAIE Biennial National Conference will be held from 13–16 July in Sydney; and National Simultaneous Storytime on 24 May is a fun way to encourage more young Australians to enjoy books. 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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Tuesday 12 December 2017, Australian Hearing Hub, Level 1, Macquarie University.

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'No surprises' Budget
As expected, provisions were made to fully implement the Jobs for Families Package; the Early Years Quality Fund will stop in 2017; and although extended, the National Partnership Agreement for Universal Access to Early Education will come to an end in 2018. If you're an ECA Member and haven't received ECA's detailed Preliminary Federal Budget Analysis please contact our customer service team


2017 Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week will be held from 27 May–3 June, with the theme 'Let's Take the Next Steps'. The 2017 event will focus on two anniversaries—50 years since the 1967 referendum and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision. As these significant milestones are commemorated, all Australians are asked to be part of the next big steps in our nation's reconciliation journey. Click here to find out how.


It's storytime!
National Simultaneous Storytime will be held at 11.00 am on Wednesday 24 May. This annual event is a colourful, fun way to encourage more young Australians to enjoy books and promote the value of reading and literacy. Every year a children's book is read simultaneously in libraries, preschools, family homes and many other locations around the country.


Have your say
ECA is developing a Statement on young children and digital technology use. Now is your chance to tell us what guidance educators, carers and families of young children need in order to use technology well and safely for children's learning, wellbeing and development. Click here for the survey. Please share the link among colleagues, networks and families.


New resource sheet
The Australian Institute of Family Studies, Child Family Community Australia has released a resource sheet titled The prevalence of child abuse and neglect. It provides an overview of what is known about the prevalence of different forms of child abuse and neglect for policy-makers and service providers, and provides an overview of Australian studies that have estimated the prevalence of the different forms of child maltreatment.


Report from NHMRC
The CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released the Report on the Evidence: Promoting social and emotional development and wellbeing of infants in pregnancy and the first year of life. The report summarises the findings of 51 systematic literature reviews and analyses the types of interventions aimed at promoting infants' and children's social and emotional wellbeing.


Walk safely to school
National Walk Safely to School Day is a community event seeking to promote road safety, health, public transport and the environment. This annual event encourages children to walk and commute safely to school and will be held throughout Australia on Friday 19 May 2017.


Preschool funding extended
Early Childhood Australia welcomes the extension of preschool funding announced by Education Minister Simon Birmingham, but more investment is needed in the early years to address Australia's poor performance in education and improve children's outcomes.


New NQF resources
With changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF) due to commence in October this year, the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has released a number of new resources to support the children's education and care sector with this transition. For a full list visit the ACECQA website


REAIE National Conference


Hosted by Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE), the REAIE Biennial National Conference will be held from 13–16 July 2017 in Sydney. Titled Landscapes of Identity, this conference will celebrate topics such as the complex identities of children as citizens with rights from birth. Visit the event website for further information.


SNAICC workshop


SNAICC—National Voice for our Children is providing a four-day pilot workshop that will focus on building capacity to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people experiencing family violence. Email to find out more information, including dates and locations. 

ECA subscriptions

Gonski revisited


A new position paper by the Menzies Research Centre has been published titled Gonski revisited: Making the education dollar work for our kids. This paper says the $30 billion school funding boost committed to by the Gillard Labor Government was not capable of lifting Australian education results, as recent international standardised testing had demonstrated.


No Jab, No Pay

The government will look to strengthen its 'No Jab, No Pay' policy to provide an immediate incentive for parents to meet immunisation requirements for their children. From 1 July 2018, the fortnightly Family Tax Benefit Part A payment would be reduced for each child who does not meet the immunisation requirements. 
Since the policy started in January 2016, more than 210 000 families have taken action to ensure that they now meet the immunisation requirements.


In state and territory news ...

The Minister for Education in the Northern Territory has announced that a review of the Territory Government’s school funding model will take place to consider the way school budgets are calculated, including the use of effective student enrolment data to address student needs; a new communiqué from the Child and Youth Protection Quality Assurance and Improvement Committee shows work is underway to improve and strengthen the child protection system in the Australian Capital Territory; students with physical and intellectual disabilities will benefit from a hydrotherapy pool, sensory garden and purpose-built learning areas at the new Fernhill School in New South Wales (NSW); in Victoria, the Andrews Labor Government is better supporting young children to learn and develop with a new online, interactive learning course for early childhood educators; Child Protection and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk has announced the McGowan Labor Government has met its pre-election pledge to become a member of Our Watch in Western Australia; vulnerable children in Victoria will be better protected under new laws requiring kinship carers to have a Working with Children Check as part of a mandatory assessment process; and the NSW Government is developing the Draft State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments and Childcare Facilities) 2017 to speed up the delivery of new services by streamlining planning rules. The Australian Childcare Alliance and ECA are concerned that this won’t solve the over and undersupply problems.

Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

New on-demand webinar!
Play-based learning is a cornerstone of early childhood education. Professor Susan Edwards discusses a new approach to balancing open-ended play with intentional teaching using the Pedagogical Play-framework, now available on the ECA Learning Hub website.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Every child deserves a good education
Every child in Australia, no matter where they live, deserves a really good early childhood education. Sign up to Early Learning: Everyone Benefits to show your support for the campaign and early childhood education. To stay updated with how we achieve change, click here.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Upcoming webinar
Join a panel of educators and learn why early childhood services become involved in KidsMatter, how they have shaped their approach to KidsMatter and how their practices lead to changes benefitting the wellbeing of children, families and educators. Click here to register for the upcoming webinar.   

ECA spoke

Being inclusive
In the latest guest post on the Early Years Connect blog, educator Erica Gardner reflects on what it means to be inclusive, and the many ways to be inclusive, following the arrival of a new child with developmental delays to her group during what she was told was ‘the wrong part of the year’. Read it here.

Digital Business Kit

Last weeks for free resources!
Getting up to speed, ECA’s free federally-funded Digital Business Kit is closing in June! Hurry to download this free resource here. From July, find all your tech tips at the ECA Learning Hub when Live Wires Online joins the Learning Hub 2017/18 Annual Subscription.

Early Childhood Australia Reconciliation Symposium

ECA National Conference
Save the date! The ECA National Conference will be held from 19–22 September 2018 at the Sydney ICC. Join over 1700 early childhood education and care professionals to hear from the leaders within our sector. 
Keep an eye out, registrations will open soon!


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 259, May 2017.
© Early Childhood Australia 2017 - All rights reserved