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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

In this issue, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) aid the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in preparing for changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF); the Raising Children Network has released new guides for grandparent and kinship carers and the service providers that work with them, and South Australia leads the way with its internationally recognised Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum. In other news, the Coalition Government is investing $1.1 million in the Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation to help them continue their work with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; not-for-profit community organisation, Noah's Ark, is holding a series of best practice workshops on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS); and the independent school sector is becoming increasingly concerned at a growing trend in the public discourse around school funding. In further news, funding was recently restored for ECEC centres providing care for migrant families by the Department of Education; the Australian Government has developed a new child care IT system to streamline family information as part of it's new Jobs for Families Child Care Package and the Centre of Social Impact and Learning for Purpose have combined forces to conduct the Australian not-for-profit workforce study. In events, the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) and ACECQA are celebrating National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (Children’s Day) on Friday 4 August. 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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New child care IT system
To support the changes to the Jobs for Families Child Care Package, the Australian Government is developing an integrated child care IT system. The new IT system will operate from 2 July 2018 and will include a more simplified user interface for families and ECEC services, streamlined and automated payment programs and separate portals for families and providers. Learn more about this new service here.


NDIS workshops
Not-for-profit community organisation Noah’s Ark is holding a series of best practice workshops on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in August and September across major Australian cities for professionals working with children with disabilities. Explore the four quality areas of the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) National Guidelines for Best Practice in Early Childhood Intervention. Find a workshop here.


Changes to the NQF
The education and care sector is preparing for changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF). In the coming months, new resources will be showcased in the ACECQA newsletter and on the ACECQA website to help providers and educators across all service types.


Get children reading
In an increasingly screen-based world, graphic novels have become not only a great way to get children reading, but also a fantastic way to deliver difficult concepts and complex issues—the text to image ratio also engages a broad spectrum of readers. Learn more about this non-traditional mode of learning.


Keeping safe
South Australia is leading the way with its internationally recognised Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum, with recent feedback from teachers and clients prompting positive changes. The updated curriculum reflects contemporary child safety topics such as cyber safety, problematic sexual behaviour, domestic violence and gender equality. Learn more here.


Funding for Dumbartung
To help support the vital work of the Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation, the Coalition Government is investing $1.1 million in Dumbartung through until 2020. This funding will enable Dumbartung to continue its work with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the region, helping them to maintain a strong sense of self-worth and cultural appreciation.


Not-for-profit workforce study
The Australian not-for-profit workforce study is the largest ever research study on and for not-for-profit (NFP) employees and volunteers working at all levels. Led by Learning for Purpose, the Centre for Social Impact and funded by the Australian Research Council, the survey will inform NFP practice, policy and funding. You can participate in the study here.


Independent school funding
The independent school sector is becoming increasingly concerned at a growing trend in the public discourse around school funding that focuses on the independent sector, and more particularly on individual independent schools, for inappropriate political point scoring. Learn more about independent school funding here.


Children's Day 2017
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (Children’s Day) will be happening on Friday 4 August with the theme ‘Value our rights, respect our culture, bring us home’. This is a great opportunity for all Australians to show their support for the Aboriginal community—find an event near you!


New guides for grandparent and kinship carers


The Raising Children Network has recently launched new resource guides for grandparent and kinship carers and service providers who work with them. Both the grandparent and kinship carer and service provider guides have information regarding carer rights and responsibilities, types of care arrangements and support. You can find both guides here


Funding restored for ECEC centres providing care for migrant families


The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) service provider advised that from 1 July 2017, 2001 ECEC providers rated as Working Towards, Provisionally Rated or Significant Improvement Required would no longer receive funding for the care of children whose parents were enrolled in the AMEP, potentially causing a significant disruption to the lives of migrant families. In light of this, the Department of Education restored AMEP funding. Read on to learn more.

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In state and territory news ...

More Queensland children will have opportunities to play and learn in Queensland’s natural environment with the Palaszczuk Government announcing a new three-year commitment to an initiative that encourages children to spend more time playing outdoors and embracing nature; in Western Australia the McGowan Government has delivered its election commitment to return education assistants and Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers (AIEOs) to classrooms in the Kimberley, while in South Australia the State Liberals have launched another key education policy, with a push to reinvigorate the study of languages in South Australian schools. In the Australian Capital Territory, the government has partnered with Indigenous organisation Curjito to lead a Family Group Conferencing pilot in Canberra aimed at supporting at-risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to stay together; and in New South Wales, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW and Assistant Minister for Education announced that for the first time in 63 years Education Week will be launched in Regional NSW.

Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

We need your help!
With the support of ECA, several families and ECEC services around Australia will be randomly selected to participate in the Young screens: First national survey focused on screen use by children from birth to five years, with the chance to win a Coles/Myer voucher. If you have any questions or would like more information about this study, please contact Dr Juliana Zabatiero:

Early Learning Everyone Benefits

Reach out to parents
We are seeking to increase our understanding of how parents experience the benefits and barriers for Australian children to participate in quality early learning and care. Invite parents of children under five to complete our short, anonymous survey here.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Picture a positive future
Picturing a positive future for children is a step toward achieving it. Use our poster to yarn with your community about what the future can look like at your place. It could be a future all about growing healthy minds with KidsMatter Early Childhood professional learning. Explore how your team can make this professional learning experience happen today.

NESA accreditation

NESA accreditation
ECA Learning Hub has recently been awarded a New South Wales Education Standard Authority (NESA) professional development accreditation rating. Completing selected ECA Learning Hub modules will each provide one hour of NESA Registered Professional Development towards maintaining ‘Proficient Teacher' accreditation in NSW.

The ECA Blog - The Spoke

Promoting positive body image
Commonly associated with teenage girls, alarming rates of four-year-old girls also want a different body. Research from the Children’s Body Image Development Study at La Trobe University has found that the way a child feels about their body starts to develop as early as three years. Learn more about creating positive body image here.

Start Early

Call for abstracts now open!
ECA is pleased to announce that the call for abstracts is now open for the 2018 AJEC Research Symposium. Held over 16–17 February 2018 at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, the theme for this new standalone event is ‘Politics, power and agency in early childhood education’. Submit your abstract here today!

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 265, August 2017.
© Early Childhood Australia 2017 - All rights reserved