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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch
 

The latest early childhood news!
 

In this issue, purchase your tickets for the 2017 ECA Live Wires Forum! Register today to access the limited special discounted ticket offer! A new benchmark report—State of early learning in Australia 2017—has been released; ECA is looking for new people to join the KidsMatter Early Childhood team; and the call for abstracts for the 2018 AJEC Research Symposium has been extended to 29 September. In other news, 100 preschools across Australia will trial the new Early Learning STEM Australia program; Australia's first draft national guideline for autism diagnosis has been released for consultation; and the new 'Kids Alive—Do the Five' app has been officially launched. Around the country, take part in 'A Place for Culture?', a cultural competency framework training package to support the improvement of service access and service quality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families; read for an hour any time during the day or night tomorrow, Thursday 14 September, for Australian Reading Hour 2017; and Southern Cross University invites teachers to participate in an approved research study by completing an anonymous survey. As well, new programs and resources are now available: the latest NQF Snapshot; two state-wide initiatives launched in New South Wales to benefit children with asthma; and the Pathways for Early Learning and Development program has been launched in Queensland. 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.


 
 

Advertising space
 

New excursion programs now available!

Designed for children aged three to five years, and linked to the Early Years Learning Framework, children will learn through play, from being a mini palaeontologist as they dig for dinosaur fossils; garden explorers learning the importance of sustainability; or going on a bear hunt with George Jade our resident giant teddy bear! Mention ECA when booking your excursion and each child will receive a two-for-one voucher to the Early Start Discovery Space (valued at $15 per child) to use on a return visit with their family. Email discovery-ed@uow.edu.au or call 02 4221 3777 to book.


 
 

2017 Live Wires Forum
 
Register today for the 2017 ECA Live Wires Forum! From 2425 November, join sector colleagues for hands-on learning about STEM and digital play; listen to keynote sessions featuring guest speakers such as Lydia Plowman; and during concurrent sessions, see, touch, play and talk to other educators in the innovative Tech Play Room. Click here for more details.
 

 

New water safety app
 
Aimed at parents and young children, the new 'Kids Alive—Do the Five' app has been officially launched. Children need constant and active supervision when they’re in, on, or around the water. To assist with this, the app includes music, cartoons and e-books with a focus on home, pool, beach and farm water safety. The app can be downloaded for free from both the Apple and Google Play stores.
 

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State of early learning
 
The State of early learning in Australia 2017 report gathers data from a range of sources to provide a summary of how many children are participating in early learning across Australia, with in-depth analysis by the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University. You can read the full report, watch a video with highlights from the report, or read the Mitchell Institute review of the report here.
 

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Australian Reading Hour
 
Today, Senator Simon Birmingham launched Australian Reading Hour 2017, alongside acclaimed authors Mem Fox and Matt Stanton. The premise is simple: just pick up an Australian book and read for an hour any time during the day or night tomorrow, Thursday 14 September. More than 330 libraries and bookshops have already registered to participate.
 

 

Improving practices
 
Australia’s first draft national guideline for autism diagnosis has been released for consultation. Developed under collaboration between Autism CRC and the National Disability Insurance Agency, the guideline aims to create greater consistency in diagnostic practices to ensure autistic individuals and their families can be assured of quality and knowledgeable advice.
 

 

ELSA program trial
 
One hundred preschools across Australia will trial a new program set to boost curiosity and skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The new Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) pilot aims to help children to explore new ideas and skills, and boost their literacy and numeracy. It is about making science fun and accessible.
 

 
2017 Live Wires Forum register now
 
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NQF Snapshot
 
The latest NQF Snapshot shows continued growth and ongoing quality improvement of the education and care sector. As at 30 June 2017, 91 per cent of all services approved to operate under the National Quality Framework (NQF) have received a quality rating. Read more here.
 

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Asthma action plan
 
Children with asthma will benefit from two state-wide initiatives launched in New South Wales. A first aid e-book and a standardised asthma action plan will help teachers and other school staff to better identify a flare-up and act quickly to effectively manage asthma attacks.
 

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Early learning program success
 
The Pathways for Early Learning and Development (PELD) program has been launched to help give vulnerable Queensland children a better start to their education. This is following the success of the pilot program, which supported 237 vulnerable children aged under five.
 

 
AJEC 1604 available now
 
 

A Place for Culture?

 

SNAICC—National Voice for our Children has a number of training programs available for educators or services to access. 'A Place for Culture?' is one such program, providing a cultural competency framework training package for non-Indigenous educators in early childhood education and care services. The aim of this program is to support the improvement of service access and service quality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families. Click here for more information.

 
 

Survey opportunity

 

Southern Cross University invites teachers to participate in an approved research study by completing an anonymous survey about supporting children with a disability during literacy lessons in mainstream classrooms (Prep to Year 3). Completion of the survey will take approximately 10 minutes. Your participation would be greatly appreciated. Please click here to access the survey.

 
 

In state and territory news ...
 

More than 60 schools and early learning centres across Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory have taken part in Australia's first national celebration of Outdoor Classroom Day; New South Wales (NSW) Education Standards Authority (NESA) has announced new processes for NSW teachers to maintain their accreditation; nine individuals and organisations have had their hard work and dedication to protecting Queensland's children and young people recognised at the 2017 Child Protection Week Awards; the Respectful Relationships Education Package has been launched in Tasmania to help change community attitudes to family violence; and the Andrews Labor Government has filled more than 100 positions in its ongoing recruitment campaign as part of the biggest ever boost to Victoria's child protection workforce.

 
Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub
 

New free webinar
 
Are you ready? Changes to the National Quality Framework will come into effect from 1 October this year. To help you learn all about the upcoming changes, watch this free ECA Learning Hub webinar with Rhonda Livingstone from Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority. Register for the webinar here.
 

KidsMatter Early Childhood
 

Complete our survey
 
We rarely ask children about their experience of participating in early childhood education. Please help us reflect the views of children in the Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign. Invite parents to take our new online survey asking their children about their experience of early learning. You can access the survey here—it shouldn't take more than 10 minutes. 
 

KidsMatter Early Childhood
 

The KidsMatter experience
 
The KidsMatter team are set to support more early childhood educators and their teams! Once registered, your early childhood setting (long day care, family day care, preschool, kindergarten, school, etc.) will have access to all our great resources, the chance to participate in events and get individualised support and guidance from the KidsMatter team. Register here.
 

Start Early
 

Completion certificates
 
People are already starting to complete the ECA Leadership Program, with participants now able to receive an ECA Leadership Program completion certificate! If you need some assistance, or would like to share your experience, please contact us today.
 

Start Early
 

Subscribe
 
ECA has four core publications available as subscription packages for those working, studying or interested in the early childhood sector: Research in Practice Series; Everyday Learning Series; Every Child magazine; Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. Subscribe today!
 

Start Early
 

Deadline extended!
 
The call for abstracts for the 2018 AJEC Research Symposium has been extended to 29 September! The event will be held over 16–17 February 2018 at QUT, Brisbane, with the theme of '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 268, September 2017.
© Early Childhood Australia 2017 - All rights reserved