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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

Making news this fortnight … Children’s voices at large: an Australian boy addresses the United Nations in Geneva; reports that children’s voices are not represented in the media; concerns about protecting children’s interests in the newly-announced Australian Parliament Inquiry into family law co-chaired by Senator Pauline Hanson; and older children draw adults and businesses into supporting action on climate. Reaching across the Tasman, Early Childhood Australia and Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand announce a new partnership, while in North America, a new range of children’s books aims to increase Indigenous language use in Canada; one city in the United States is giving every kindergarten child $50; and researchers examine language learning between children. Closer to home small grants are available now for community initiatives; an Australian author’s debut picture book, Julian is a Mermaid, wins international prize; the first public sitting for the Disability Royal Commission takes place in Brisbane, and the University of Newcastle’s latest Fatherhood Research Bulletin offers insights into the importance of men and fathers in early childhood education. Find the latest in state/territory news and jump down to read what ECA teams have been doing.

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Children’s voices in the world

Children’s voices are often missing when the media covers issues closely affecting them, according to a Queensland University of Technology study. Yet Dujuan Hoosan, a twelve-year-old Arrente and Garrwa boy from Alice Springs, had a global platform when he addressed the United Nations (UN) about raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years to prevent incarceration of young Australian children. Find more about his UN address here. ECA has written to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of children is at the heart of the Australian Parliament’s inquiry into the family law system and has expressed concern at the impetus behind the new inquiry as described by the inquiry co-chair, Senator Pauline Hanson on Wednesday. Find ECA’s media release here. Elsewhere children are making their voices heard in upcoming climate strikes across the country (20 September), calling on adults and businesses to join them. Find inspiration and ways to introduce younger children to sustainability with Dr Sue Elliot’s blog here and Narragunnawali resources on First Nations’ practices here.
Te Rito Maioha

ECA and NZ’s Te Rito Maioha
We are delighted to announce that Early Childhood Australia and Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand entered into a partnership earlier this month to strengthen our early childhood sectors and the collaboration within and between our countries, focusing on advocacy, research, qualifications and professional learning. We will provide updates on this partnership. In the meantime learn more about Te Rito Maioha here.


Saving starts early
Boston Saves, a new initiative from the city of Boston to increase financial planning for tertiary study, gifts every kindergarten child in Boston public schools with a $50 deposit into a savings account. Families cannot access this account until the child enrols into study but they can contribute to the fund, or perform tasks—such as logging reading hours—to earn more money. Read more.


Books for babies
Canadian book publisher, Inhabit Education, is publishing Inuit language books for babies in a combined effort with Inuit communities to boost literacy rates. The books also feature black-and-white images of Inuit culture, as research indicates high contrast images help babies focus. Read more here.


Language learning
A study from the University of Waterloo, Canada, indicates that babies and toddlers learn language from other children just as they do from adults. Researchers found that two-year-olds could understand the speech of six-year-olds—who were still learning to speak—as well as they could understand adults. Read more here.


Grant opportunity
Grants of up to $5000 each are available for small local initiatives that build community, support healthy lifestyles and increase road safety. Education providers are welcome to apply and the grants do not require Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. You can find out more here

Julian loves mermaids

Julian loves mermaids
Jessica Love’s book, Julian is a Mermaid, wins the Klaus Flugge Prize for most exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration. With his nan’s help, Julian takes part in a special mermaid parade. Judges said, ‘[the book] reminds us that picture books can make us understand the world differently and better.’ Read more.


Disability Royal Commission

The First Public Sitting for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability was hosted in Brisbane. The Royal Commission will conduct hearings in all capital cities and a number of regional locations. To register for updates, click here.

Fatherhood resources

The September issue of the University of Newcastle’s Fatherhood Research Bulletin offers insights into the role of men in early childhood education, fathers from migrant and refugee backgrounds, strategies to engage new fathers in their newborn’s lives and a program in prison that has fathers bonding with their children through reading. Find more here.

In state and territory news ...

In New South Wales, a Kamilaroi man brings STEM libraries to Indigenous children across Australia and a new program from ECA, Early Signals. First Responses, supports NSW-based educators working with children who have experienced domestic and family violence. Museum Victoria launches Play Box, a new sensory experience for children aged one to three. Under new Victorian legislation, religious and spiritual leaders must report child abuse, even if it is heard in the confessional. As fires rage across Queensland, forcing the closure of several schools, read top tips for bushfire safety and implement environmentally sustainable practices.

In the Northern Territory, a two-year-old is the first Indigenous child to receive a cochlear implant. Over 1000 people will meet in Hobart, Tasmania next week for the 2019 Early Childhood Australia National Conference. Making marks, a curated exhibition exploring children’s art and meaning, launches at the Tasmania Museum and Gallery on 25 September.

Floriade opens in the Australian Capital Territory along with Story Time, an exhibition examining Australian children’s literature. Finally, congratulations to all Western Australian educators nominated for the WA Education Awards.

Supporting the wellbeing of parents and carers

Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

Spend time
Get free ideas and strategies on a range of pedagogical concepts with the ECA Learning Hub’s Spend a Minute newsletters—sign up here. And keep a lookout for new professional learning on nature pedagogy with Claire Warden.

ECA Spoke

Values and Leadership
Anne Stonehouse dips into a provocation on knowing your values, Leanne Gibbs shares insights on leadership ahead of her masterclass in Hobart next week and Kelly Johnston on the extra sparks when early childhood practitioners and researchers work together.

Everyone benefits

Thank you
Thanks to everyone who celebrated Early Learning Matters Week. Whether you registered, invited a politician to your service or posted photos of early learning activities—congratulations. The #EarlyLearningMatters hashtag had great results with 350 mentions on social media. Find more here.


Rights and research
Join educators, students, academics and researchers to share cutting-edge knowledge and forge networks. Book now for the 2020 ECA AJEC Symposium, 13-14 February, Sydney. The theme is ‘Children’s rights and research’. And you can still book your virtual ticket for the ECA 2019 National Conference.

Be You Early Childhood

Your wellbeing
While you're putting your energy into creating a positive mental health environment for children and young people, it’s also important to focus on your own wellbeing, and that of your colleagues. Be You offers Wellbeing Tools for You and the Staff Wellbeing Fact Sheet to support your mental health.

ECA Publications

Write for ECA!
We are seeking authors for upcoming titles of our Research in Practice Series (RIPS) and Everyday Learning Series (EDL). You can check the range of topics and details for lodging an Expression of Interest on the ECA website. Submissions for both series close Sunday 13 October 2019. Don’t miss out!

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

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ECA WebWatch—Issue 316, September 2019.