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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

In this issue, register today for the 2018 AJEC Research Symposium—don't miss your chance to network and share cutting-edge knowledge with early childhood academics, students, researchers, practitioners and pedagogy thinkers. In the news, the 10th annual Closing the Gap report has been released; Australia's biggest early childhood education walk off will take place on 27 March; and the Victorian Labor Government is investing in a new suite of parenting and education initiatives to provide more support for Aboriginal families and their children. In other news, the Australian Human Rights Commission is working towards building child-safe cultures in all organisational settings; school children across Australia could soon be taught in classrooms powered entirely by renewable energy; a National Review of Teacher Registration has been announced; and make sure you teach your children how to swim this summer. New programs, reports and surveys include: the Lifting our Game report; the Positive Parenting Program in South Australia; an expanded ThinkUKnow cyber safety program; and the opportunity is still open to take part in an important research study regarding professional reading. 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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Closing the Gap
The 10th annual Closing the Gap report has been released. ECA congratulates Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia on achieving universal enrolment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in a preschool program in the year before school. While there's more work to ensure all Indigenous children benefit from preschool, such high-level enrolment is great news. Read the full report here.


Lifting our Game report
ECA has welcomed the Lifting our Game report, which calls on Australian governments to increase their investment in early education and extend universal preschool access to three-year-old children. This new data shows that there is still more work needed to ensure that children at greatest risk of educational outcomes have better access to high-quality early education.


Swimming—a life skill
In 2016–17, 14 children under the age of five drowned in Queensland alone. Swimming is a life skill everyone should have, and it's important that parents and carers insist upon learning this skill. In recent years, pool fencing laws have been dramatically tightened, but more needs to be invested in programs to promote safe swimming.


Walk off for equal pay
On 27 March, Australia's early childhood educators will walk off the job to demand the government fund equal pay. It will be the biggest early childhood education walk off for the sector. A number of centres are being closed for the whole day, while others will close at lunchtime, or will only have certain rooms closed. Find out more information here.


Teacher registration
A National Review of Teacher Registration Expert Panel has been formed in response to all Australian Education Ministers agreeing to the National Review of Teacher Registration. The Review will look at whether registration requirements are consistently applied across Australia to help ensure every Australian learner experiences quality teaching.


Positive parenting
The Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) in South Australia (SA) teaches parents and caregivers simple, practical strategies to confidently tackle parenting issues. Triple P is available for free across SA, and is delivered through seminars, group sessions and one-to-one support via the SA Positive Parenting Team. Click here to learn more.


Expanded cyber safety program
An expanded ThinkUKnow cyber safety program was launched on Safer Internet Day last week, with a Kindergarten to Year 2 presentation being introduced this year in response to younger children accessing technology. Find out more here.


Keeping children safe
The Australian Human Rights Commission is leading the development of a National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The goal is to build child-safe cultures in all organisational settings to advance the safety and wellbeing of children and young people across Australia.


Renewable classrooms
School children across Australia could soon be taught in classrooms powered entirely by renewable energy. This comes as a result of the innovative 'Hivve' modular classroom, now being trialled in two New South Wales schools. Read more about the trial here.


Increasing support for Aboriginal families and children

The Victorian Labor Government is investing in a new suite of parenting and education initiatives to provide more support for Aboriginal families and their children. As part of the Koorie Families as First Educators initiative, two Koorie educators at five sites in Ballarat, Bendigo, Latrobe Valley, Wodonga and Melbourne's north will work with Aboriginal families on parenting programs that support their children's learning and development from pre-birth to school age. Click here to read more.


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.

AJEC 1604 available now

In state and territory news ...

The Victorian Government is launching a new campaign to warn parents about the risks of accidentally leaving their child in a car due to short-term memory failure; School Crossing Supervisors are helping to make Canberra's busiest school zones even safer in the Australian Capital Territory; more than a quarter of a million parents in New South Wales have downloaded an Active Kids voucher in just 10 days, which will help cover the cost of sports and active recreation fees; children in South Australia will benefit from early intervention to address developmental delay or disability; Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace has called on all schools to get involved in spreading the anti-bullying news by creating message walls as a visible reminder of their commitment to a world free from bullying; and the Northern Territory (NT) Labor Government is meeting an important election commitment with the launch of its new NT Child Health Record.

Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

Coming soon
An exciting new platform with user-friendly features is coming soon! New features: save all your training records in the one place with the learning tracking tool; a new personalised dashboard with a fresh look and feel. The ECA Learning Hub will also debut a new responsive and accessible course design. More information coming soon!

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Join today
The Lifting our Game report presents all the latest evidence and cases to invest more in early learning—because 'a child who starts behind stays behind, which comes at an enormous cost'. Join the Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign to increase community understanding and access to early learning.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Start KidsMatter today
Are you interested in KidsMatter professional learning and considering whether to start it at your place?
Book and attend a Getting Started event and you'll start two of the KidsMatter Core Topics in that first hour.
Get KidsMatter happening at your place today! 

ECA 2018 conference

Early bird registration
Join us for the ECA National Conference at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Sydney, from 19–22 September 2018. Be the difference for children and families at the 2018 conference! Early bird registration is now available online—register today to secure a spot at the early bird rate!

Early Childhood Australia Reconciliation Symposium

Register today
The 2018 ECA Reconciliation Symposium will be held from 11–12 May 2018 in Fremantle, WA. Registration is now open, 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. Register today!

Start Early

Last chance!
Now is your last chance to secure your ticket to the 2018 AJEC Research Symposium, to be held from 16–17 February. Don't miss this unique networking opportunity! The symposium will feature 49 presentations, a panel discussion, and presentations from three keynote speakers: Helen May, David Ansell and Ann Farrell.

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 277, February 2018.
© Early Childhood Australia 2018 - All rights reserved