The latest in early childhood news!

Making news this fortnight … A Centrelink ‘glitch’ on the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) leaves thousands of families out-of-pocket; the spread of Coronavirus (known as COVID-19) triggers new alerts and questions for early childhood education and care services—find where to look for updates; find resources for educators and others working with traumatised children; the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation launches its new early childhood program; key dates for your March early learning calendars; and finally, have your say as a sector with a workforce survey and find scholarship and grant opportunities for early childhood young educators.

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

CCS glitch
Thousands of families have to pay full fees due to a Centrelink mistake on Child Care Subsidy payments, even though the Australian Immunisation Register is updated and vaccines have been recorded. Families are out-of-pocket and some have had to withdraw children from early education. Read more.
Coronavirus disruption
Simple strategies such as handwashing remain crucial, according to an article on managing Australia’s response to COVID-19. Early childhood services can stay informed with fact sheets and updates from the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment the Department of Health and the World Health Organization

Calmer classrooms
For schools with children who have experienced trauma this summer, an expert podcast provides resources and ways to respond, while ECA’s Early Signals. First Responses examines young children and family violence.

Kitchen gardens for ECEC
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation launches its new early childhood program to introduce children to delicious, nutritious food and healthy food habits in their early learning setting. Click here to find resources for your practice.

Save the dates
Find ways to have fun, get serious, and get active during March. Add these dates to your calendar beginning with World Book Day (5 March), International Women’s Day (8 March) and Ride2School Day (13 March).

Scholarships and awards
Young educators or early childhood services can click here to learn more about the Scholarship Program for Young Australians and find details for the Little Scientists Early STEM Award here.

Future skills survey
An opportunity for the ECEC sector to have a say. SkillsIQ is running a survey to gain knowledge of vocational education and training (VET) qualification trends, for future training packages. Survey closes Friday, 13 March 2020.

In state and territory news...

Two hundred community preschools in the Blue Mountains, NSW, directly impacted by the bushfires, are set to receive a one-off payment from the NSW Government to go towards fee relief and help with overall recovery. The State Library of Queensland offers free resources for children, educators and families. Find the Imagination Playscape and more at The Corner. In South Australia, child vaccination hits a record high due to the No Jab, No Play laws and free vaccine programs; and a University of South Australia review of the importance of nature play could transform children’s play spaces across the state. The new $3.5 million Autism Hub being built in Canberra, ACT, will provide early intervention programs for up to 40 children (aged two to six) each year, who will be supported by a specialist team including early childhood educators. And in Victoria, the State Government commits $2.5 million to build a permanent Kindergarten in Mallacoota following significant damage caused by environmental conditions in the past few months.

In their shoes
This much-loved book, written by Anne Stonehouse, is now available free online as an e-book. With evocative illustrations by Oslo Davis this is a classic resource for developing empathy.

Conference keynotes
We can reveal our two Australian keynote speakers for the 2020 ECA National Conference are Anita Heiss and Steve Sammartino. Learn more here and keep watching for news of our international keynotes. Early bird registration is open now.

Preserving and reflecting
Explore ways to preserve Indigenous languages in your early childhood education curriculum, and read an inspiring reflection piece on encountering a great thinker at the ECA National Conference.

Consultant support
National Check-Ins provide an opportunity for educators to chat with Be You Consultants and engage with others across Australia. Join any theme and bring your questions. Book here.

ECA WebWatch—Issue 326, March 2020.