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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

In this issue, ECA's online surveys about digital technology and children close soon—jump online today to take part; the Turnbull Government will target parents across the country with the launch of a new vaccination campaign; and register as a provider before 29 March to ensure  your service receives Child Care Subsidy payments. In other news, the Early Learning Languages Australia program is continuing to grow; the Brotherhood of St Laurence is seeking expressions of interest from organisations interested in delivering HIPPY in Alice Springs, Northern Territory; the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander preschool enrolment is up 7.2 per cent since 2016; and you can now nominate, invite, or apply for one of the ECA Awards. Around the country, take part in National Playgroup Week from 18 to 25 March; celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity during Harmony Day on 21 March; in Victoria, additional funding will provide further support, information and training on cultural appropriateness to carers of Aboriginal children; register today for the 2018 ECA Reconciliation Symposium; and don't forget to ride to school on 23 March for National Ride2School Day. 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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National Playgroup Week
This year, National Playgroup Week will be celebrated from 18 to 25 March. This week helps to raise awareness of the important role of playgroups in providing parent and carer support, and in promoting the value of play for young children. If you would like to get involved, click here to find out what's happening in your local area.


Building stronger futures
In Victoria, the Andrews Labor Government is building stronger futures for Aboriginal children in care. It was announced that an additional $440 000 will be shared among 11 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, to provide support, information and training on cultural appropriateness to carers of Aboriginal children.


Child Care Subsidy
To make sure your service can receive Child Care Subsidy payments, key staff with management or control should register on the government's provider portal, PRODA (Provider Digital Access), now. Registration is required before 29 March to start the transition of services in April 2018. Services won't be able to start the transition if they haven't registered for a PRODA account. Click here for more information.


Ride2School Day
National Ride2School Day on 23 March is fast approaching! It's a great day to promote the importance of physical activity by providing an opportunity for students, parents and teachers to try riding, walking, skating or scooting to school. It's also a day to celebrate the regular walkers and riders. And the best part is, you can get the entire school community involved! Find out more, or access a wide range of resources, here.


Vaccination campaign
The Turnbull Government will target parents across the country with the launch of a new vaccination campaign, promoting the need to vaccinate children. Areas of low vaccination rates in one, two and five year olds will be micro-targeted in every state and territory under the second phase of the 'Get the Facts about Immunisation' campaign.


ELLA expansion
The Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program is continuing to grow, with an extra 20 000 Australian children set to participate in the program in 2018. The program now includes nine languages, and an independent evaluation found it has had a positive impact on children's engagement in learning about other languages and cultures.


Harmony Day
On 21 March, celebrate Australia's cultural diversity during Harmony Day 2018—it's about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. Whether celebrating at school, home, an early learning service, or at your workplace, it's easy to get involved. Visit the Harmony Day website to find out how.


ECA Awards
The Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Awards are highly regarded across the early childhood education and care sector. They recognise the valuable role that professional educators play in promoting and enhancing early years learning. Click here to find out how you can nominate, invite or apply for an award


Increased enrolments
According to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 17 455 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged four or five years were enrolled in a preschool program in 2017, up 7.2 per cent since 2016. The largest growth was in the Australian Capital Territory (up 26 per cent) and Victoria (up 15 per cent).


HIPPY Australia expression of interest


HIPPY (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters) is a two-year, home-based early learning and parenting program that empowers parents to be their child's first teacher. The Brotherhood of St Laurence is now seeking expressions of interest from organisations interested in delivering HIPPY in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. All enquiries should be directed to HIPPY Australia on (03) 9445 2400 or


Online surveys closing this weekend!


Online surveys about digital technology and children close this weekend! ECA is developing a Statement on young children and digital technology use to provide guidance on using digital technology in ways that support young children's education, development, health and wellbeing during early childhood and into the future. If you haven't been able to complete any of these short online surveys, and would like to, you can now access them all by clicking here. The surveys will be open until Sunday 18 March. We'd love to hear what you think about this important issue.

AJEC 1604 available now

In state and territory news ...

More than 6000 families from Victoria facing disadvantage will be eligible for extra parenting help and advice thanks to an Andrews Labor Government boost for supported playgroups; in Western Australia (WA), Activ has been congratulated for its commitment to re-establish Noah's Ark WA—this program offers a unique service for children and young people with special needs, such as a range of specialised toys, resources and information for families; in South Australia, it has been announced that a re-elected Labor Government will build an additional 10 Children's Centres across the state, to provide world-class services and support to families in one location; a construction tender out now will see a new $6.5 million Early Childhood Integrated Learning Centre built in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, catering for up to 110 children; playing with air, creating self-portraits and showcasing children's connections to culture are just some of the events lined up for this year's Out of the Box Festival in Queensland; laws designed to enhance child safety have come into force across New South Wales, with window locks now mandatory on strata buildings; and the WA State Government, Minderoo Foundation and Telethon Kids Institute have announced a $49.3 million investment into a long-term early childhood initiative.

AJEC 1604 available now
Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

A new-look ECA Learning Hub has been launched today! With a new, personalised dashboard, you can now access our brand new responsive courses, save all your training records in the one place, generate new reports and browse a library of information under the 'Resources' tab. Login and explore here.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Healthy habits
With reports that Australian toddlers are not eating a healthy diet, here are some great tips on how to engrain healthy eating habits from a young age. Share your own nutrition tips with parents as well, and let them know that access to early learning can model good eating behaviour. Join the campaign today!

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Book your spot!
Book your professional learning today! KidsMatter Early Childhood professional learning events can assist you to grow healthy minds. Whether your service is keeping professional learning on track, or you're just starting KidsMatter, there is an event for you. Visit the KidsMatter website today to get involved.

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!

The ECA Blog - The Spoke

New blog
In honour of International Women's Day last week, ECA released a blog titled: Seven things adults can say to a young girl instead of 'I love your dress'.
'1. Start a conversation about something the child is doing—observe what the child is interested in and open a conversation from there.' Click here to continue reading

ECA 2018 conference

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

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 279, March 2018.
© Early Childhood Australia 2018 - All rights reserved