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Early Childhood Australia WebWatch

The latest early childhood news!

Making news this fortnight … HESTA announces the early childhood education and care award winners; schools across the country are giving children dealing with trauma the chance to learn meditation; Queensland not-for-profit organisations that cater to children can apply for funding for outdoor shade; an Australian picture book is the first Indigenous and bilingual book to feature in a national public awareness campaign; the author of Kids in the garden, Mary Moody, shares the benefits of gardening for children; and the University of Sydney would like to hear your opinions and experiences in their early childhood teacher survey. In international news, UK research shows that talking with babies positively impacts language development; and in the USA, one of the largest video-sharing companies is fined for gathering children’s personal data. Finally, see the upcoming calendar dates that you can take part in.

Find the latest in state/territory news and jump down to read what ECA teams have been doing.


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HESTA winners

HESTA winners
The HESTA Early Childhood Education and Care Awards were held in Hobart last week, acknowledging some of the outstanding work in the sector across the country. Click here to see the winners.


Meditate children’s minds
Schools across Australia and New Zealand are giving children who are impacted by trauma the chance to learn about meditation through a mental health app. The app has also been used to help children settle back into class after recess and lunch. Find out more here.


SunSmart in summer
Sun protection for children is important year-round. If you are a Queensland-based non-for-profit organisation that caters to children aged birth to 18 years, and need shade in your outdoor areas, you can apply for portable and permanent shade funding under the new SunSmart Shade Creation Initiative. Find out more here.


Reading rush hour
The Australian children’s picture book, Moli det bigibigi (Molly the pig), has been recognised as the first Indigenous and bilingual book to feature in a national public awareness campaign that encourages children to develop the habit of reading. Find out more here.

calendar dates

Calendar dates
World Teachers’ Day will be held on 5 October, this year’s theme is ‘Young teachers: The future of the profession’. Click here to find out more. Thursday 10 October is World Mental Health Day. Click here to find out more about how you can shed a positive light on mental health.

school holidays

School holiday gardening
Springtime calls for outdoor activities in early learning settings and schools. Touching soil, planting seeds and weeding are strong sensory activities for younger children. Gardening also helps children learn that not all food comes from the grocery shop and you can grow it yourself. Read more here.


Talking develops language

After studying how babies communicate, new research from the University of Warwick and the University of Sheffield in the UK suggests that if families, educators and carers respond to babies’ attempts to communicate there can be a clear positive impact in language development. Listen to the audio here.

Data-proofing children

Children today are the most targeted on the internet and are extremely vulnerable to data collection. In the USA, one of the world’s largest video-sharing websites is fined $170 million after illegally gathering children’s personal data without parental consent. Find out more here.

Tell us your thoughts

The University of Sydney are conducting research on professional registration for early childhood (EC) teachers who work with children in the birth to five years age group. They want your opinion and to share your experiences about professional development and the capacity to provide quality EC education. Have your say here.

In state and territory news ...

Join the ECA West Australian Branch (ECAWA) in their campaign to deliver a State Government-led Play Strategy for all WA children.

In NSW, Tamworth primary school is one of 15 Connected Communities schools in the state, positioned as a community hub that develops and implements initiatives to support improved outcomes for their students and families.

And as part of the Victorian Government's School Readiness Funding, more than $1.1 million will be spread across Greater Shepparton to help boost programs and additional resources for kindergarten children. To view ECA’s menu of evidence-informed programs click here.

Also, the Working Together pilot program in Tasmania gives vulnerable children access to free early learning and has resulted in recorded improvements in speech and interpersonal skills and is being expanded to benefit more children in 2020.

Supporting the wellbeing of parents and carers

Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub

Special Promotion
ECA Learning Hub is celebrating conference by offering a 20% discount on selected online learning modules. Enter the promo code VIRTUAL19 at checkout. This offer is valid until 4 November 2019 or until the promotion limit is reached. A limited number of discount codes are available and some modules are excluded.

ECA Spoke

We share insights into the conference keynote presentations from Associate Professor Sheila Degotardi and Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney through two blogs. If you missed them at the conference, you can read an insight to their presentations. This week we also share a story from a male educator from Nowra, NSW about how he became an educator.

Everyone benefits

Thank you!
Thank you to those who joined us in Hobart and virtually last week for the 2019 ECA National Conference. It was a great success and we look forward to seeing you again in Brisbane next year from 30 Sep–3 Oct. In 2020 we celebrate young children as citizens with rights. Applications to present are now open, find out more here.


Application to present
Do you have research or an initiative that you would like to share with the early childhood sector? Applications to present are now open for the 2020 AJEC Symposium. Book now and join us for an event that attracts hundreds of practitioners, academics, professionals and policy-makers in the sector.

Be You Early Childhood

Be You conference
A Be You virtual conference, ‘Trauma informed and thriving’, will be held on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 October to explore how you learn with and from children and the many ways of being trauma informed workplaces. Everyone can be a leader in creating a mentally healthy generation. Register here.

ECA Publications

Share your knowledge
Calling for expressions of interest! If you have research to share in the early childhood sector, we want to know about it! We are seeking authors for upcoming titles of our, Research in Practice Series (RIPS) and Everyday Learning Series (EDL), Submit before Sunday 13 October 2019. Find out more.

To view upcoming early childhood events and professional development opportunities, click here to visit the ECA events page.


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ECA WebWatch—Issue 317, October 2019.