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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

In this issue: a proposed preschool policy was announced on 4 October; the next phase of the Stop it at the Start campaign has been launched; and don't forget to show your support for Mental Health Month during October. Around the country, Anti-Poverty Week begins this Sunday 14 October; leadership scholarship opportunities are available for women who work in schools; the NSW Government has announced a $3 million support package for NSW community preschools to ensure they can continue to operate in drought-affected areas; and a new resource, Talking Up Our Strengths—a set of photomontage cards designed to promote discussion and connection to community for Aboriginal children and young persons—is now available. Survey opportunities include: hearing from early childhood teachers about their professional learning opportunities and experiences; understanding the collection and use of data; and finding out what ECA can do to make its core publications even better. 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

Mental Health Month
October is Mental Health Month! Now is the time to start supporting your own and others' mental health. WayForward says 'share a stroll with a friend for wellbeing'. Learn about the basics of young children's mental health here, or 'relearn calmness' listening to Dr Stuart Shanker's ABC interview. Find more on mental health at beyondblue or KidsMatter Early Childhood.


Drought relief
A $3 million support package has been announced for NSW community preschools to ensure they can continue to operate in drought-affected areas. This support will help families and children to access top-quality early childhood education despite the financial and operating challenges that affect all services in drought-affected towns and small communities. Read more here.


Talking Up Our Strengths
Talking Up Our Strengths is a set of 22 A5-size, theme-based photomontage cards. Designed to promote discussion, build self-esteem and help connect community for Aboriginal children and young persons, the cards celebrate the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, urban and remote, past and present.


Anti-Poverty Week
Anti-Poverty Week begins this Sunday 14 October! There is still time to organise an activity or to find an activity to take part in. Anti-Poverty Week aims to strengthen public understanding of poverty and hardship, and to encourage research and discussion in order to address these problems. You can help fight poverty and hardship! Get involved today


Survey opportunity
Are you an early childhood educator involved in developing educational plans in childcare centres/preschools in Australia? If so, researchers at Macquarie University invite you to take part in an online survey regarding the collection and use of data. Those participating may enter a draw to win one of two $100 gift vouchers. Please forward this to anyone who is eligible. For more information, click here.


Stop it at the Start
The next phase of the Stop it at the Start campaign to reduce violence against women and their children has been launched. The campaign encourages all adults—parents, family members, teachers, coaches, employers, community leaders and other role models—to think about the impact of what they say and do, and talk to young people about respect. Click here to read more.


Seeking educator feedback
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership want to hear from early childhood teachers about their professional learning opportunities and experiences. Take 15 minutes to have your say and help develop better resources for the early childhood sector. Survey closes this Friday 12 October. Click here to get started.


Scholarships for school leadership
The National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI) in partnership with Women and Leadership Australia (WLA) is providing a scholarship of up to $1500 for women who work in schools to take part in either an advanced or middle leadership program. Expressions of interest are being sourced until 30 November.


ECA publications—have your say!
We are always looking for ways to improve our quality resources. ECA invites readers to tell us what you think. Let us know how you use ECA's core publications, and how you think we can improve them in the future. Click here to participate today.


Preschool: A hot topic in politics


The proposed new Australian Labor Party (ALP) preschool policy was announced on 4 October. If elected, the ALP are committed to providing universal access to age-appropriate quality preschool programs, by a qualified early childhood teacher, for all Australian children in the two years before they start school. It would apply across a range of settings, including long day care, community preschools and school-based preschools. Read ECA's media release here. Approximately 70 per cent of funding for preschools is delivered by state governments—see the response from NSW Early Childhood Education Minister here and the Victorian State Government pledge here.

First Year at School resource

In state and territory news ...

In Victoria, a $3.4 million expansion of the LOOKOUT program has been announced to help children in out-of-home care access quality kinder programs and effectively transition to school; in New South Wales (NSW), the Early Start Research at the University of Wollongong conducted the Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) study—this professional development program for early childhood educators markedly improved their teaching methods, leading to measurable gains in literacy and numeracy, and a reduction in behavioural issues among the children in their care; the Northern Territory (NT) Government has invested $168 000 across the NT to ensure that children and young people engage in fun and positive activities throughout the October school holidays; in Queensland, the introduction of the Intensive Family Support service is supporting Toowoomba parents to care for their children safely at home; and in NSW, Canterbury-Bankstown's first all-abilities playground has been officially opened. 

Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

New video
In this latest video from the ECA Learning Hub, Rebecca from Gowrie Broadmeadows, shares her strategies for developing a child-centred approach to sleep and rest—a snippet from the new professional learning package Understanding sleep and safe sleep practices in early childhood education and care. Watch it here.

Early Learning campaign

Good news for the sector!
It is good news for children and families that the Australian Labor Party has listened to expert advice in the formulation of their new preschool policy. Click here to read why this policy is based on solid evidence. Join the campaign to support policies like this to become a reality, which will benefit all Australians.

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Let's celebrate!
In this blog, a panel of educators reflect on their KidsMatter experiences, challenges and most importantly, their achievements that led to changes that benefited the wellbeing of children, families and educators. Launching KidsMatter learning at your place will prepare you for National Education Initiative action. Learn more here.

The ECA Blog - The Spoke

New blogs
New blogs include: a beautiful article examining 80 years of one woman's school memories and the implications for how we prepare children for school—timely as we enter the last term of the year; a clear argument on the value of preschool for three-year-olds by Alison Elliott; plus more on sleep and sleep practices with great resources for further support.

Early Childhood Australia

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; and the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. All publications are quality assured and up to date. Subscribe today to ensure you don't miss any future issues.

AJEC Symposium 2019

Registrations open soon
Registrations open soon for the 2019 AJEC Research Symposium. Stay tuned for more information! The symposium will be held in Melbourne from 14–15 February 2019, and invites early childhood practitioners, academics, policy-makers and students to exchange ideas, innovative research methodologies and findings. Click here to learn more.

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 294, October 2018.
© Early Childhood Australia 2018 - All rights reserved