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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

This fortnight, new research suggests that for every $1 invested in early learning, there is a $2 benefit to the Australian economy; the Child Care Subsidy payments will be balanced by Centrelink in July. The ACT Government announces the first steps in delivering 15 hours per week of early learning education for three-year-olds. Two new programs in New South Wales are being rolled out—one that will benefit thousands of students to improve literacy and numeracy skills; another for Indigenous baby health, aiming to stop generational trauma. UNICEF is urging Australians to protect children from harmful business practices. A study on school readiness reveals that teachers’ and families’ values and beliefs vary; and children now have the opportunity to become philanthropists early in life. Senior Australian of the Year, Dr Suzanne Packer, says ‘children need attention, love and free time’; Play School debuts an Indigenous doll character for NAIDOC Week; and ABC Kids Listen has released a reconciliation podcast for children. In international news, a US report shows that experiencing ongoing difficulties such as poverty, parental divorce, abuse or instability in early childhood can lead to long-term effects; and the University of Toronto has found that kindergarten scrapbooks are vital for learning. And lastly, an opportunity to have your say about the National Early Language and Literacy Coalition. To finish, we wrap up state and territory news. Jump down to see what the ECA teams have been up to and the new resources available for the early childhood sector.

Breaking news...
A plan to resolve backlogs and delays for children with a disability accessing Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been announced by the Minister for the NDIS, Stuart Robert. The initiatives include an interim plan for children who are likely to experience a plan implementation wait time greater than 50 days, additional resources for ECEI partners, and immediate referral pathways for participants with complex support needs. Read more.


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My Health Record lets you control health information securely in one place. This means important information, such as allergies, tests and immunisations, is available when and where it’s needed, including in an emergency. And children's My Health Record can help track their health, growth and development.

Have your say

Have your say!
Contributing to surveys and submissions is just one way you can have your say and advocate for young children. This week, the National Early Language and Literacy Coalition is calling for submissions on the effectiveness of a project being undertaken to improve the early language and literacy outcomes of children—specifically early childhood education.

NAIDOC Week impact on tv

NAIDOC Week impact on TV
Australian children’s program Play School is debuting a doll character, Kiya, in an Acknowledgment of Country episode which will air on 8 July, during NAIDOC Week. The episode will feature presenters finding out where Kiya is from (Noongar Country, in the southern corner of Western Australia) and learning to say ‘hello’ in her language (‘kiya’). Read more.

Early learning investment

Early learning investment
For the first time the early childhood sector has access to an Australian analysis proving investment in early childhood education boosts productivity, increases workforce participation and addresses developmental vulnerability. For every $1 invested in early learning, there is a $2 benefit to the Australian economy, suggests new research from PricewaterhouseCooper. Read more.

Stress and self-regulation

Stress and self-regulation
A recent US report shows that experiencing ongoing difficulties in early childhood—such as poverty, parental divorce, abuse or instability—can lead to ongoing neurobiological effects, including an immunity to the stress hormone cortisol. In some cases, children became ‘immune’ to healthy releases of cortisol to support their wellbeing, resulting in feeling sluggish, emotional and unfocused. Read more.


Vulnerable children to benefit
The ACT Government has announced the first steps in delivering 15 hours per week (600 hours per year) of free quality early childhood education for three-year-old children. Four hundred children in need will receive subsidised preschool places next year as part of the first phase of the plan. Read more.


Indigenous baby project
A groundbreaking new research project has revealed that pregnancy and early parenthood are the best times to work with Indigenous families to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma. Childhood abuse and prolonged stress, affecting up to 50 per cent of children worldwide, are the most common causes of complex trauma.
Read more.

Literacy and numeracy

Literacy and numeracy set to improve
Under the new NSW Premier’s Priorities, an additional
18 700 students are set to improve literacy skills and 13 500 students will enhance their numeracy skills. The Bump It Up program, which recognises schools that have potential to lift their students’ performance in these key subjects, will be extended to all schools across the state. Read more.

Transition to school

Transition to school
A study on what makes a child ready for school has revealed that teachers value social and emotional skills such as resilience, while families believe that literacy skills are the most important for school readiness. The study indicated a lack of support and the difficulty parents face in teaching social and emotional skills. Read more.


Improving Australia's business culture for children

Australians are being urged to protect children from harmful business practices, after a UNICEF report revealed major policy gaps in Australian business laws that leave children vulnerable. These include child labour protections, family-friendly employment conditions and parental leave access. Read more.

Child philanthropists

Kids in Philanthropy (KiP) is changing how children see themselves and the idea that philanthropy is only for adults. KiP is a non-for-profit that equips the next generation with skills to make a difference. KiP has supported organisations such as the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, The Nappy Collective and St Kilda Mums. To find out more, read an interview with CEO Sarah Wade or visit KiP

Little yarns for little people

ABC Kids Listen has released a new podcast for children called Little yarns for little people. Over 30 episodes, the podcast explores and embraces the reconciliation languages and cultures, taking children on a journey around Australia. Read more.

Attention, love and free time

2019 Senior Australian of the Year, Dr Suzanne Packer, has spent 40 years advocating for children’s rights. She says children need attention, love and free time. Read more.

Scrapbooks essential to early learning

The Independent Education Union is campaigning for experienced university-qualified educators to receive a pay increase of up to $100 000, arguing they should be paid the same as primary school teachers with identical university qualifications. Read more.


CCS reminder

Centrelink will start balancing Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payments from 29 July 2019. CCS balancing will commence later than family tax benefit because childcare providers have 28 days to provide the Department of Human Services with session information. Watch the Department of Human Services update here.

In state and territory news ...

NSW Advocate for Children and Young People (ACYP) shares that violence against children and young people costs an estimated $11.2 billion annually. Hundreds of early childhood services are charging more than the Federal Government's hourly subsidy cap for child care fees. The ACT Government is developing a new plan for children's health services to ensure Canberra families get the healthiest start in life. In South Australia, the Marshall Liberal Government is set to deliver a new early intervention pilot for children identified as being unsafe and at risk if they are to remain with their families. And in Victoria there are plans to build and invest in infrastructure to support kindergarten for all three-year-olds. Children in remote Northern Territory now have access to early childhood education with a new travelling playgroup trailer; and a study of Gen Z children in Western Australia on basic physical skills such as balance, running, jumping, throwing and catching showed a decline in comparison with the previous generations.

Available now-New Research in Practice Series title-Strengthening quality through critical reflection and action research

Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

New OSHC modules
Two new professional learning modules are now available for NSW Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) professionals. Register today for the free program and explore developing and maintaining a Quality Improvement Plan and supporting children to be environmentally responsible. To learn more, click here.

ECA Spoke

New from
The Spoke
We share the importance of outdoor play in winter, from the Montessori Academy blog telling us the benefits of children playing outside in the colder months. Dr Andi Salamon questions our preconceived beliefs on babies and toddlers in her blog titled, ‘Taken-for-granted beliefs about babies’ capabilities’.

Be You Early Childhood

Last chance for early bird
Last chance to secure early bird prices to the 2019 ECA National Conference 2019, offer ends 30 June 2019, so register now! The ECA conference will present you with new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas. We look forward to welcoming past and new attendees to Australia’s most comprehensive early childhood event.

Early Learning campaign

Early Learning Matters Week
Register here now to work with us to invite a local federal or state politician to visit your service in Early Learning Matters Week 2019. The date is 1–6 September to tie in with the last week of the Federal Parliament recess, and to include Early Childhood Educators Day (4 September). Read about the success of last year’s Early Learning Matters Week.

ECA National Conference 2019

Be You
Online events
Our online events provide an opportunity for educators to engage with and learn from others. Be You Essentials showcases key information related to a whole learning community approach to implementing Be You. Led by a Be You Consultant, you’ll have opportunities throughout to ask questions. Book here.

ECA Conference 2019

Subscribe to AJEC
ECA is pleased to announce a new subscription model for the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood (AJEC). When you renew or subscribe to AJEC, you can now choose between two subscription periods:
1.    financial year
2.    calendar year.
For further information 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

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ECA WebWatch—Issue 310, June 2019.