View the html version of WebWatch online.
Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

In this issue, the deadline for submitting an application to present at the 2018 ECA National Conference has been extended to Wednesday 13 December 2017; a further $468 million will be provided to family law services so that they can continue to deliver critical support to separating and separated families; changes to documentation requirements have now commenced; and beyondblue is inviting service providers to submit a proposal to join a panel of content writers for its National Education Initiative (bbNEI). In other news, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of couple families with children that have both parents working has increased in the last decade; resources have been developed to assist with the commencement of the revised National Quality Standard; and the opportunity is still open to take part in an important research study regarding professional reading. Useful resources include the Family Matters Report 2017; the Day by Day: Learning Together app, which provides parents with simple skills to support their child’s development; a range of useful resources on the SunSmart website to help you and your children stay sun safe this summer; and the cultural information website, Deadly Story, is now available to access. 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

Lah-Lah's Music Room LIVE

Have the stars of ABC KIDS Lah-Lah, Buzz and Lola the Dancing Double Bass perform LIVE at your centre! Children will jump up and sing while they learn with this new music education incursion. Bookings are now being accepted for 2018—click here or call 02 8541 5549.


New report released
The Family Matters Report 2017 was released on 29 November, which reveals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are nearly 10 times as likely to be removed from their family as non-Indigenous children; and only 17 per cent of the child protection budget is spent on services aimed at preventing issues for families before they develop. Read the full report here.  


Stay sun safe
With the holidays just around the corner, and the weather warming up across most of the country, it’s important to stay safe in the sun this December, and into the new year. The SunSmart website offers a range of resources for families and early childhood services, including songs, posters and online games, to get children on board with staying ‘sun safe’ this summer.


Documentation updates
Changes to documentation requirements commenced on 1 October for outside school hours care services in some states and territories. This included new guidance for all services on documenting assessments or evaluations of children's wellbeing, development and learning. Find out more by reviewing the new Guide to the National Quality Framework or the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority's (ACECQA) information sheet.


Request for Proposal
beyondblue is inviting service providers to submit a proposal to join a panel of content writers for beyondblue's National Education Initiative (bbNEI). Proposals should be from suitably qualified subject matter experts and/or content writers. Panel members will be considered for selection to develop evidence-based, engaging and interactive content for the initiative. Closing date: 10.00 am (AEDT) Monday 18 December 2017. Obtain the Request for Proposal documentation here.


New parenting app
A new app is providing parents of children from birth to three years with simple skills to support their child's development. The Day by Day: Learning Together app sees parents complete activities that are organised into different everyday environments such as the kitchen, bathroom, outdoors and travelling. The app is available on Android and Apple smartphones and tablets.


Helping families
A further $468 million will be provided to family law services so that they can continue to deliver critical support to separating and separated families into the future. This funding will ensure families have continued access to counselling, advice, family dispute resolution and mediation, children's contact services and other intensive post-separation support services.


Revised NQS commencing soon
The revised National Quality Standard (NQS) in all states and territories will commence on 1 February 2018. The Australian, state and territory governments, in partnership with ACECQA, have developed resources to help you prepare. Click here for more information.


More parents in the workforce
According to statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of couple families with children that have both parents working has increased in the last decade. In June 2017, 64 per cent of couple families with children had both parents working, while a decade ago it was 59 per cent. Click here to read more.


Supporting children
Deadly Story is a cultural information website, developed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the Victorian out-of-home care system to connect with their Country, their communities, and their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and identity. Click here to access the website.


Invitation to participate in an important research study


The aim of this research study is to explore the perceptions and experiences of professionals in the early childhood sector regarding ways that professional reading supports them to engage with evidence-based practice to improve learning and development outcomes for young children. Click here to view the Invitation, Plain language statement and Consent form for further information. Please email your signed consent form to the Principal Researcher, Jackie Brien, at Upon receipt of your signed consent form, the link to the questionnaire will be emailed to you.

Free ECA publication offer

In state and territory news ...

The Victorian Government is investing in new projects to help Aboriginal people tackle family violence in their communities; in the Northern Territory, the Labor Government is improving health services with the roll out of the ACWY Meningococcal vaccine for 12-month-old babies; in Victoria, the Andrews Labor Government is making things fair for hundreds of additional families through extra support for access to vital kindergarten places outside of enrolment periods; new laws paving the way for more effective working with children checks and greater rights for foster carers and children in care have passed the South Australian Parliament; the Northern Territory Labor Government is giving long-term security to small community-based groups that offer important support services to children and parents—the Darwin Toy Library will be one of the first community organisations to benefit; and in Victoria, up to 100 000 babies could be enlisted to provide clues to what factors influence the healthy development of children in one of the world's largest longitudinal studies of children—the Gen V project.

Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

New webinar
Last month, the ECA Live Wires Forum was hosted in Melbourne, and Assistant Professor Kym Simoncini addressed the delegates with her talk on the importance of spatial reasoning and STEM. For those who missed out, a recorded webinar of the presentation is available here. And if you're wondering what to do about festive presents for children, Kym has written an article on The Conversation. Click here to read it.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Early learning is crucial
Early learning plays a crucial role in reducing the high levels of vulnerability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Click here to listen to Elder, Aunty Denise Proud, on why early learning is so crucial for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and the vital role of educators in these children's lives. Want to make a difference? Show your support for the campaign here.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Join beyondblue's Education Voices
beyondblue is looking for early learning staff to help build the best possible national mental health in education framework. They want your opinions and the benefit of your experience. beyondblue will start with a short email survey in December, with more contact in 2018. For more information, or to register your interest, click here.

ECA 2018 conference

Closing soon!
Applications to present at the 2018 ECA National Conference are closing soon! Submit before 13 December 2017 so you don't miss out. The 2018 conference will be held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, from 19–22 September 2018. Early bird registrations will open mid-December. Click here for further details.

Early Childhood Australia Reconciliation Symposium

Save the date!
The 2018 ECA Reconciliation Symposium will be held from 11–12 May 2018 in Fremantle, WA. Registration opens mid-December 2017, with prices from $554 per person. The 2018 event will be led by Catharine Hydon and Jo Goodwin. Explore reconciliation and make a difference within your early years setting.

Start Early

Register now
Register today for the 2018 AJEC Research Symposium! To be held from 16–17 February at QUT in Brisbane, this two-day event encourages early childhood practitioners, students, policy-makers and academics to come together to share cutting-edge knowledge and to strengthen their research networks in Australasia and beyond.

To view upcoming early childhood events and professional development opportunities, click here to visit the ECA events page.


Become an ECA Member today: Learn more

Subscribe to ECA publications today: Learn more

ECA Facebook ECA Twitter ECA LinkedIn ECA Pintrest
You are receiving this because you are a current subscriber.
Subscribe to our list | Unsubscribe from this list
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 274, December 2017.
© Early Childhood Australia 2017 - All rights reserved