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Latest in early childhood news!

In this issue ... Child care subsidy debt exemption for bushfire-affected families; the Australian Government delivers an additional $400 for each child that has suffered in the bushfires; registrations open for EarlyED Asia; Play School characters set to teach children healthy tech tips in 2020; no coeliac risk for children playing with Play-Doh; and researchers say parent confidence is key to reducing their child’s unhealthy food consumption. 

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

CCS debt exemption 
ECA has welcomed the Federal Government's decision to provide an exemption to the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) activity test debt for families in bushfire-affected communities. ECA CEO Samantha Page said it was a relief to hear that affected families who access the CCS would be exempt from activity test debts for the 2019–20 financial year. Read here
Support for bushfire-affected areas
From this week, the Australian Government will deliver an extra $400 (a total of $800) to families for each child aged under 16 that is eligible for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP). Read here. Also, read advice from ECA on how services and educators can manage the bushfire smoke. Read more.

EarlyED Asia 
Looking to expand your professional development horizons internationally? ECA members get a special discount on registrations to the EarlyED Asia 2020 Conference, hosted in Kerala, India on 14 and 15 February. Call ECA on 1800 356 900 to learn more. 
Play School eSafety campaign
Big Ted, Jemima and their friends from Play School will be teaching young children healthy tech habits in 2020. ECA has worked on the new campaign with the eSafety Commissioner alongside ABC Children to develop a set of resources for parents. Watch here

Coeliac & Play-Doh
New intensive research finds there is no coeliac risk for children playing with Play-Doh. The preliminary study from the Children’s National Hospital has found no significant gluten transfer on hands and play surfaces. The advice is to make sure children wash their hands after using it. Read here.                  

Parent confidence is key
Cutting down young children’s consumption of unhealthy foods is the focus of a new study by two leading Australian universities. Lead researcher Brittany Johnson says we need to better support parents to have the confidence to make positive changes. Read here.                 

In state and territory news ...

As schools prepare to welcome back students, the New South Wales Government provides advice to students, families and teachers following the recent fires. The number of children admitted to hospital for severe sunburn has increased in Western Australia, with health experts encouraging adults to ensure children have appropriate sun protection and avoid sun exposure when UV is high. A number of early learning services and schools in the Australian Capital Territory have closed after extensive damage from a hailstorm, and 2020 kicks off the ACT Government’s commitment to publicly funded early childhood education for three-year-old children. In Victoria, the University University of Melbourne seeks applications for the new Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood).

Putting Art in Place with Dr Red Ruby Scarlet explores how art can facilitate the development of relationships with Country, children, and adults. Click here to explore further. 

Supporting our most vulnerable children
Dr Judith Howard, examines the way that trauma affects cognitive development and the ways early childhood educators can support children who have been impacted by a traumatic event. Read more.

Transitions and wellbeing 
Very soon children will be transitioning to and within education settings, and experiencing new environments. Beyond day one, it’s essential educators work with families to support children. Explore our Transitions Fact Sheet.

20 days to go!
You now have 20 days to secure your spot at the 2020 AJEC Research Symposium, being held on 13–14 February 2020 in Sydney. Click here to see the program and book here.

Join the AJEC Committee
ECA is seeking members for the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood (AJEC) Committee, including two deputy editors. Visit our website for further information and to apply.

ECA WebWatch—Issue 323, January 2020.