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

The latest early childhood news!

In this 300th issue, we look back at the first-ever release of WebWatch; and look forward to the upcoming AJEC Research Symposium. Around the country, several outstanding contributors to early childhood were named in the 2019 Australia Day honours list; applications are now open for the Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy; nominations are being invited for the Narragunnawali Awards; call for abstracts for the 2019 SNAICC Conference close 22 February 2019; and NAIDOC Week funding applications will remain open till 25 February 2019. In other news, the Fourth Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children (2009–2020) was recently launched; the Report on Government Services shows findings on the performance of early childhood education and care services; and a report from the Centre of Policy Development indicates a widening disadvantage between schools. 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


300 issues of WebWatch


With 300 issues of WebWatch under our belt, we decided to dive into our archives and see what made news for WebWatch #1 in February 2006! The ECA Code of Ethics was undergoing its first review since 1988 (and was released in 2007). Pam Linke was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia, and we reported that 'child care' in Australia needed an overhaul. Things may have changed in the early childhood sector, but our commitment to bringing you a free regular round-up of sector news and current affairs hasn't. We look forward to bringing you many more.

Celebrating language

Australia Day honours
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) gained attention in the Australia Day awards, with Dr Suzanne Packer, AM, being named 2019 Senior Australian of the Year. Dr Packer is a paediatrician as well as a children's-rights and anti-abuse campaigner. SNAICC chair, Professor Muriel Bamblett, AO, AM, was also honoured along with policy expert, Dr Jane Page, AM, and Dr Joy Goodfellow, among others. Find a list of the other recipients from the sector in ECA's official media release.

Celebrating language

Protecting Australia’s children
The Fourth Action plan (20182020) of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children (2009–2020) has been launched. The framework was established as a long-term national approach to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Australia's children. The plan focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are at risk of entering, or are already in contact with, child protection services. Read the full publication here.

Celebrating language

Reading Australia Fellowship
The Copyright Agency announced its inaugural Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy. The fellowship will award $15 000 to support further professional development and research for eligible teachers of English and literacy. Applications close on 1 March 2019. Click here to apply.

Celebrating language

NAIDOC Week grants
Grants are now open for organisations and communities to celebrate histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during the 2019 NAIDOC Week. Applications are open till 25 February 2019. To find more information, or to apply, click here.

ECA Ethics in Action Workshops

Report on ECEC released
For the first time, a breakdown of attendance by age has been included in the Report on Government Services (Child care, education and training sector). Services meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard increased by 4.5 per cent, and more than 96 per cent of children, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, are enrolled in 15 hours of preschool. Read the findings and full report here.


Narragunnawali awards
Reconciliation Australia has launched the 2019 Narragunnawali Awards, which recognise exceptional commitment to reconciliation in education across the country. The awards recognise and celebrate educational environments that have implemented outstanding reconciliation initiatives. Schools and early learning settings can send in their nominations by the closing date of 10 May 2019. Learn more about the awards here.


Disadvantage in schools widens
Changes in schools and school characteristics over time are concentrating advantage and disadvantage across Australia, according to a new report from the Centre for Policy Development. The findings suggest a widening socioeconomic gap over the last decade, resulting in inequity to access and opportunities. Read the full report here.


Call for abstracts
The eighth SNAICC National Conference is calling for abstract submissions by 22 February 2019. The conference will be held from 2–5 September 2019 in Adelaide. To find out more about the conference and the key themes, click here. Find the guidelines and submission information here.


In state and territory news ...

In Queensland, the next round of Get Started Vouchers opened on 6 February and will provide $150 support for up to 36 000 children from low-income families; in New South Wales (NSW), registrations are open for the CCSA Regional and Rural Forum in Dubbo; considering recommendations of the Gonski Report, a newly opened public school in the Australian Capital Territory is incorporating a multi-age approach with no classrooms or year levels; South Australia (SA) has announced $80 000 in grants across 33 schools and preschools to support families' participation in their children's learning and development; the NSW government has pledged to hire an additional 4600 teachers; all prep students in Victoria will start the year with a new library bag filled with books to support a love of literacy and reading; the SA government has joined the National Redress Scheme and those who have experienced child sexual abuse in SA institutions are now eligible to apply for redress; and in Tasmania, ongoing bushfires have led to the closure of multiple schools and evacuation of several regional towns.

Coming soon-Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub Communities of Practice
Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

Communities of Practice
ECA Learning Hub is excited to announce new 'Communities of Practice' that will feature online learning communities where members will have the opportunity to learn with and from each other. By exploring new ideas, sharing resources and lived experiences, members will become part of a vibrant learning community. To learn more and sign up for updates, click here.

ECA National Conference 2019

Code of Ethics workshops
ECA's Code of Ethics workshops are coming to a town near you! Join Catharine Hydon for a one-of-a-kind Ethics in Action Workshop as she breaks down how ethics allows more effective and respectful decision-making, and supports the rights and wellbeing of children, families and the community. The workshops will be held in various locations across NSW; find the one closest to you and register here.

Be You Early Childhood

Be You events
Educators have the opportunity to meet with and learn from others through Be You events. The Be You Essentials events present key Be You information, including how to start the learning process. Action Teams can also use National Check-In events as an opportunity to chat with Be You Consultants and engage with other educators across Australia about progressing as a Learning Community.

Early Learning campaign

Helpful information for parents
Looking for inspiring and practical parenting tips to support children through the exciting developments and transitions of the new year? Check out our Family Blog for a wealth of easy-to-read, helpful information for parents. Sign up for our monthly campaign updates to find out what action is being taken to increase children's access to quality early learning.

ECA Spoke

No guilt in child care
Professor Adrian Piccoli, previously the NSW Minister for Early Childhood, discusses the guilt he felt while dropping off his children at day care, and how the experience of working with knowledgeable and passionate educators in his portfolio convinced him that the long-term value and benefits for his children far outweigh emotional costs. Read the full post here.

AJEC Symposium 2019

Last chance to register
There's still time to secure your place at the 2019 AJEC Research Symposium. But hurry, registrations will be closing soon. Join early childhood practitioners, academics, policy-makers and students to exchange ideas over two days, 14–15 February, at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. To learn more and to register, click here.

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
ECA WebWatch—Issue 300, February 2019.