View the html version of WebWatch online
The latest in early childhood news

In this issue… Early Childhood Australia (ECA) is proud to join the Thrive by Five campaignthe 2020-21 Federal Budget will be handed down on Tuesday 6 October; NAPLAN may be overhauled following an independent review; Anti-Poverty Week is coming up (11-17 October); and a new study examines how to improve student-teacher relationships. Congratulations to Jane BourneJane has been recognised for her dedication to the early learning sector with a prestigious award. 

In Canada, research examines the impact of COVID-19 on early childhood education and care; Kids Helpline reports a 28% increase in calls for help as researchers examine how to support children experiencing trauma. Finally, filled jobs in the education sector fell by 6.8% between March and June 2020, with over one million positions lost across the nation. 

Find the latest in state and territory news and jump down to read what ECA teams have been doing.
Thrive by Five
ECA is pleased to join leaders, parents, workers, educators and community organisations from across Australia in calling for a universally accessible early education system as part of the Thrive By Five campaign, an initiative of the Minderoo Foundation.
NAPLAN overhaul
An independent review has examined the effectiveness of NAPLAN. Its recommendations include bringing forward the test to the start of the year, adding a new assessment of critical and creative thinking in STEM, and overhauling the writing assessments. The full report and recommendations are here.

Student-teacher relationships

Who was your favourite teacher in school? A new study examines the links between disruptive behaviour and poor student-teacher relationships. The research reveals that genuine empathy and a better-managed warning system improves student behaviour and relationships. 
Pandemic responses
Access to early learning education and care continues to be a cornerstone to managing the pandemic. Read international responses to the pandemic from Canada and Australia
Excellence in education
Jane Bourne, CEO of C&K and President of ECA Queensland Branch, has been awarded the Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education Outstanding Alumni Award for her dedication to early childhood education. Congratulations Jane!
Sobering statistics
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that almost one million jobs were lost between March and June, with the education sector facing the sixth largest loss at -6.8% across the June quarter. 
Anti-Poverty Week
One in six children live in poverty in Australia and over one million families face poverty when Jobseeker payments cease in September. Anti-Poverty Week (11–17 October) aims to raise awareness of poverty in Australia and support for vulnerable families experiencing, or at risk of, poverty. 

Childhood trauma

A 28% increase in calls to Kids Helpline between March and July 2020 underscores the importance of understanding childhood trauma, and how to help children address it, according to researchers from the University of Western Sydney and Monash University. ECA’s online professional learning program, Early Signals. First Responses, can provide skills to educators supporting children who have experienced trauma.
Budget announcement
The federal government will release the 2020-21 Federal Budget on Tuesday 6 October. It follows an OECD report which confirms that funding for Australia’s public education system has fallen below the OECD average, with Australia trailing nineteenth out of 27. In contrast, the report notes Australia is the third-highest investor in private schooling, with investment more than double the OECD average. 
In state and territory news...

The South Australian Government is investing more than $1 million in new child protection research. The investment focuses on emerging research and new strategies to support vulnerable children and young people.

In Tasmania, the Molesworth Environment Centre has developed an outdoor program that aims to challenge children and build their resilience.The Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women is accepting applications; consider nominating an early childhood educator who made a difference to you and your family.

In Victoria, JobKeeper payments are not being transferred to some early childhood educators.

From the Northern Territory: a report commissioned by Indigenous Elders examines the impact of a policy that requires all children who reside in remote communities to attend boarding school for secondary education.

In Western Australia, new court procedures are being trialled to protect newborns and toddlers. Under the changes, families will be able to attend court at the same time as representatives from community health and government to discuss outcomes that are in the child’s best interest.

In New South Wales, the Department of Education will stop implementing the Learning, Literacy and Language (L3) program after a review found it did not align with best practice.

Teachers are needed in Queensland, with applications particularly encouraged from qualified teachers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic and Year 12 students interested in studying education.
While NAIDOC Week is postponed to 8 November, get inspired with the latest webcast on the ECA Learning Hub, in which early childhood educators share how they celebrate NAIDOC Week. 
Secure your spot!
Connect with curriculum, pedagogy and play, and explore the areas of mathematics, literacy and the creative arts through the lenses of play and pedagogy with Professor Sue Dockett, Dr Gai Lindsay, Adam Duncan and other sector leaders. This unique interactive online event is selling out fast. Book now to secure your spot. 
Start fresh in 2021
Don’t miss out on your favourite cover—the ECA Early Years Planner is our popular diary for early childhood educators, available in a daily or weekly format. Each format has a slightly different design and layout. Get your copy here.
Getting started 
Once you’ve registered there are many ways to start implementing Be You. Your first steps can be easy ways to start making a difference for mental health at your early learning service. Read how.
Adapting to change
Fiona Boylan talks about this unique time for children preparing to transition to formal schooling in 2021 and shares ways for schools and early learning services to prepare and support children.
Application to present
The application to present is now open for the 2021 AJEC Research Symposium (hosted virtually, 20–21 February 2020). This is a great opportunity to present at Australia’s leading early childhood research symposium. AJEC welcomes students, academics, researchers and practitioners at all levels from around the world to submit papers. Learn more.
ECA WebWatch—Issue 340, September 2020.