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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

In the first issue of ECA WebWatch for 2019, ECA welcomes United Nations’ declaration to celebrate this year as the International Year of Indigenous Languages; the Department of Education and Training has commenced the year with a new rule on reporting children’s attendance times; and ACECQA is getting a head start on providing information for changed staffing requirements from 2020. Around the country, 5 February will be marked as Safer Internet Day; families are being reminded to keep medicines secure from children this summer; the deadline for applications to present at the 2019 ECA National Conference has been extended; and SkillsIQ is conducting a review of early childhood education and care training qualifications. New resources include a podcast on Australia’s diverse Indigenous languages; and this timely statement on babies, sleep and extreme heat. In other news, Australian government primary or secondary school principals are being invited to apply for Harvard’s 2019 Principal and Leadership Scholarships; registrations are now open for ECA’s Ethics in Action workshops in NSW; and ARACY has recently appointed a new CEO. Finally, we fill you in on the 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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Celebrating language

Celebrating language
The United Nations declared 2019 The Year of Indigenous Languages to raise awareness about the languages and people who speak them. This is an effort to deepen appreciation of the important contribution they make to our world's rich history. To get involved, visit the official website. For local resources and information, visit the AIATSIS website.

Word Up podcast

Word Up podcast
ABC's language podcast, Word Up provides insight into Australia's diverse Indigenous languages from Anmatyerre to Arrernte, from Bidjara to Bundjalung, from Nyungar to Ngaanyatjarra, from Yankunytjatjara to Yorta Yorta. Click here to learn more and listen.


Babies and extreme heat
Given the soaring temperatures, Red Nose is reminding parents to choose wrapping options for babies carefully in order to prevent the risk of overheating. To find out more about how to choose the appropriate outer layers or bedding options for babies this summer, click here.


New staffing requirements
From 1 January 2020, providers of long day care, preschools and kindergarten services will need to have a second early childhood teacher in attendance if 60 or more children (preschool-age or under) are being educated and cared for. Learn more about it on the ACECQA website.


Keep medicines out of reach
Families are being reminded of the importance of keeping medicines safely out reach of children. A recent survey has revealed that half of all Australian households insecurely store medicines, including keeping them by the bedside (18 per cent), on the shelf in the kitchen or living room (18 per cent) or in the fridge (14 per cent). Read more about the survey and find more information about giving medicine to children. 


This week the Board of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) announced the appointment of Penny Dakin as ARACY's Chief Executive Officer to continue its work advocating for evidence-based policies in the interests of children and young people. Click here to read recent blog by Penny Dakin on climate change and young Australians.


Ethics in action workshops
Registrations for ECA's new Ethics in Action Workshop: Engaging with the ECA Code of Ethics are open. Five half-day workshops held across regional NSW will explore the ethical dimensions of early childhood work and strengthen participants' capacity for effective and respectful decision-making. Click here for 2019 dates and locations.


Safer Internet Day
Tuesday 5 February is Safer Internet Day (SID). This year's theme is 'Together for a better internet'. Developed by the eSafety Commissioner, SID provides resources and training to develop the skills and proficiencies needed to use the internet safely. Find out how you and your organisation can get involved with SID2019.


Have your say


A significant review of early childhood education and care training qualifications is being conducted by SkillsIQ for the Children's Education and Care Industry Reference Committee. A national consultation process on Draft 2 Training Materials (Validation) is open until 28 February 2019. Learn more about the review and how to participate in February consultation forums.

Mandatory reporting of attendance times


Starting 14 January 2019, the federal government now requires childcare providers to include children's actual attendance times in families' statements of entitlement and in session reports (except absences). This is intended to help parents understand the relationship between the fees they are charged, the amount of subsidy paid to their childcare provider on their behalf, and their out-of-pocket expenses. Read more about it here.

Principals’ Harvard scholarship


Current principals in Australian government primary or secondary schools are encouraged to apply for the Principal and Leadership Scholarships by Tuesday 26 February 2019. Principals can apply for one of three scholarships to undertake a short professional education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the USA. Find more information here.

Coming soon-Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub Communities of Practice

In state and territory news ...

A new Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education has been implemented in Victoria, replacing the 2017 test policy; in South Australia, 15 language teachers have been awarded funding to increase the teaching and learning of languages; in Queensland, the Centre Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) will lead a new High Risk Team in the Moreton and Caboolture areas to keep women and children safe from domestic violence; the New South Wales (NSW) government is rolling out a new awareness campaign to highlight the benefits of participating in a preschool program; and in the Northern Territory (NT), the government has announced 40 scholarships for NT school leavers who opt to stay and undertake university study in 2019; and, following last year's review of non-educational use of mobile devices, NSW public primary schools will ban mobile devices during school hours from 2019.

Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

Sleep and wellbeing
Continuing hot weather may be affecting children's ability to sleep well. In line with ACECQA's safe sleep and rest practices, the ECA Learning Hub professional learning package Understanding sleep and safe sleep practices in early childhood education and care examines the importance of sleep in children's wellbeing. Learn more about the package here.

ECA National Conference 2019

New Deadline
In response to your requests, and feedback from academics and researchers, the deadline for applications to present at the 2019 ECA National Conference in Hobart has been extended. Applications must be submitted online by 5.00 pm (AEDT) on Tuesday 29 January 2019. Click here to apply. Join us in Hobart—make the most of early bird registration prices by booking now.

Be You Early Childhood

Connect with
Be You
Stay connected with Be You news and blogs! Find the latest posts and catch up on some past ones. Read about educator wellbeing, getting involved with Be You, healthy transitions, or explore the Always Be You resources that bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and ways of doing to the materials and experiences of Be You.

Early Learning campaign

The benefits of nature play
While families enjoy the summer holidays, we have a range of suggestions on how parents and children can spend more time in nature, and why nature play is beneficial for the entire family. Join the campaign to increase your understanding of the importance of early learning for all Australian children from birth to five years.

ECA Spoke

Sustainability and you
What does sustainability mean to you? Is there a single right way to think about it? Dr Sue Elliott examines varying definitions of sustainability in a new article that explores how early childhood services can engage with sustainability theories and practice. Find more posts including on the educator's role and 26 January. Join the conversation here.

AJEC Symposium 2019

Book now!
Only 20 days until the leading early childhood research event for Australasia: the AJEC Research Symposium. Focusing on the latest research and pedagogical practice, the symposium welcomes educators, academics, policy-makers and students to exchange ideas and translate innovative research into practice. Secure your place today and join us at ACU Melbourne.

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 299, January 2019.
© Early Childhood Australia 2019 - All rights reserved