The latest in early childhood news

Making news this fortnight … restrictions ease in some states across Australia as Term 2 starts; stay up to date with recent announcements on COVID-19; an episode of Q+A examines education in a post-COVID-19 world; the e-Safety Commissioner launches new professional learning modules to help children stay safe online; scholarships are available for women in education; tell us about your experience with utilisation and COVID-19; and a report shows up to half of Australian children will be disadvantaged by the shift to remote learning. 

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

COVID-19 updates
The Treasurer clarifies JobKeeper eligibility for charities; COVID-19 testing is extended to all Australians who exhibit mild symptoms; and ECA briefs members on health and hygiene. SNAICC identifies funding concerns for Indigenous and culturally safe services. Finally, some supermarkets reinstate deliveries, including for businesses and early learning services.
Q+A on education
The recent Q+A episode, Education in the Age of COVID-19 (broadcast Monday 27 April) is now available to stream. In the program, panellists discuss schools reopening, the value of teachers, and whether experiences during COVID-19 will change education practices for the better. 

Online safety
ECA and the eSafety Commissioner have developed free professional learning modules on children’s online safety. A special Play School episode, titled Kiya’s Excellent e-Birthday, has also been developed as a part of the eSafety Early Years Program. 

Left behind
A new report shows that up to half of Australian children and young people in school will be disadvantaged by the shift to remote online learning, because not all households have access to the internet, or the technology to use it. 

Scholarships available
Partial scholarships of $1,000 to $5,000 are available for women working in education to help support their participation in a range of online leadership development programs. Learn more here.

Your feedback
Complete this quick 3-question survey about the impact of COVID-19 on the utilisation of your early learning education and care service. This ECA survey is for directors or managers of services. Click here. 

In state and territory news...

A helpful graphic developed by ECA explains school openings for states and territories ahead of Term 2. View it here. 

Restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 are easing in some states and territories with small social gatherings and non-essential travel allowed in some circumstances. Restrictions still differ in states and territories. In Queensland, people will be able to travel within 50 kilometres of their homes for recreation from 1 May. In New South Wales, social restrictions will also be eased to allow people to visit friends and family from 1 May. In Western Australia, indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings may now include up to 10 people. Additionally, the Western Australian Government is extending influenza vaccinations to include all primary school children ahead of Term 2 commencing.

In New South Wales, Goodstart Early Learning Leeton connect with residents of an aged care home

In the Northern Territory (NT), Save the Children’s Play2Learn program, which provides insight into traditional practices like hunting, bush medicines, ceremonies and language, has been adapted to digital formats and will be taught by local Aboriginal woman residing in traditional homelands. And the NT government announced it will boost the Territory’s frontline Aboriginal workforce with the reintroduction of Remote Aboriginal Teacher Education (RATE), set to increase the number of frontline Aboriginal workers such as teachers, nurses and police officers to 500 by 2026.

Symposium connect
ECA Reconciliation Connect is coming soon (15 May); join us for a dynamic and interactive online event. View the program here and book your ticket now.  

Fresh ideas
Find new angles on big issues at The Spoke: Catharine Hydon asks, ‘Who do you believe?’ and Fay Hadley and Liz Rouse discuss the child citizen. Read blogs on parenting and creating learning environments at home and more here.

Responding together
When the unexpected occurs, it can impact on the mental health of everyone in your learning community. A collaborative response can promote wellbeing. Explore our Responding Together domain.

Being trauma aware
How can you support children who have experienced trauma? The latest Research in Practice publication, Trauma-aware early childhood education and care, provides strategies to help early childhood professionals address the harm caused by early trauma.

Enriching routines
Restructuring routines can provide children with rich opportunities to learn and play. Learn more about making the most of your everyday routines.
ECA WebWatch—Issue 330, April 2020.