The latest in early childhood news

In the news this fortnight… The federal government releases a Child Care Recovery Package—complete the ECA Survey to tell us how it has impacted your service; the National Nutrition Network – Early Childhood Education and Care (NNN-ECEC) reviews menus in early childhood services across the country; and a study by the University of Tasmania shows the benefits of children learning a second language

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s Book Supply program delivers more than 95,000 books to remote communities; and multiple new children’s podcasts are now available from the ABC, Kinderling Kids and At Home with Brie. Lastly, ECA is seeking expressive children’s art to be submitted for the 2022 Early Years Planner. Scroll down to find out how to submit.

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

Child Care Recovery Package
From 28 September, the Child Care Recovery Package will provide continued support for the sector, mainly in hardest-hit Victoria. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has an information video on what the changes mean for services nationwide. We are inviting members who work directly in Child Care Subsidy approved services or provider organisations to share their thoughts on the package, in a five-minute survey here.
Nutritional food facts
A recent study from the NNN-ECEC reviewed the menu planning guidelines of long day care services across Australia. It found only one in five Australian two- and three-year-olds eats the recommended vegetable intake each day, and almost a third of the total energy intake comes from discretionary foods. Read more. And click here to read the recommended dietary guidelines for children between two and eight years of age.

Second language benefits

Learning a second language has been shown to boost learning in preschool-aged children, and can have profound and lasting benefits, both academically and socially. Find out more from a recent study by the University of Tasmania here.

Book supply program
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s Book Supply program, in partnership with Australia Post, has delivered more than 95,000 children’s books to 300 remote communities to provide access to better quality resources. Read more.

New children's podcasts
Multiple new children’s podcasts have recently been launched by Kinderling Kids, ABC Kids listen and At Home with Brie. The podcasts feature stories, singing, dancing and mindfulness, in line with early learning and child-led programming guidelines.

Seeking children's art
ECA are searching for expressive children’s art to feature on one of the covers of our 2022 Early Years Planners. Submit here on or before Monday 5 October.

In state and territory news...

Early childhood education services in Victoria reopen this week. An article from Kate Noble, an Education Policy Fellow at Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute, gives a breakdown of how the Child Care Recovery Package will affect services, parents, staffing and fees. Read more.
The Victorian Government has released a resource filled with activities for families to try during the school holidays. Explore here.
A series of webinars on educator wellbeing, produced by ECA and the Victorian Department of Education and Training, is now available to watch online. Catharine Hydon, Dr Narelle Lemon and Lisa Baker discuss wellbeing and positive psychology; why wellbeing science is essential for educators; and putting wellbeing into action. Click here to access the series.

ECA is hosting an ACT Election forum on Wednesday 14 October, from 7:00pm to 8.30pm. Join ECA's Chief Executive Sam Page for this free virtual event, featuring Minister for Education and Early Childhood Education Yvette Berry and candidates from the ACT Greens and Canberra Progressives. This is your chance to influence decision-makers and remind them of the importance of investing in the early years. Click here to secure your spot and to be part of the live Q&A.

Free online learning 
As part of the eSafety Early Years program, ECA and the eSafety Commissioner have released free online professional learning resources to guide best practice and encourage positive habits around online safety. Register here.

Connect to storytelling
Our next online event, Connect with stories and storytelling, features another unmissable line-up of speakers such as the 2020–21 Australian Children’s Laureate, Ursula Dubosarsky, children’s book author Jessica Smith and ABC Kids Early Childhood producer Laura Stone. Join us on Friday 23 October. Book here.

Wellbeing tools for you
Educators can access and choose from a wide range of online apps and resources providing valuable information and support around mental health and wellbeing. Explore the tools here.

Learning and creativity in 2020
Catherine Beckingham, an early childhood teacher from Melbourne, discusses the impact of this year’s disruptions on children’s learning. And Karen Hope shares what she has learnt about being ‘creative’ during the pandemic and engaging with children over Zoom, as well as the resources she has found useful.

Application to present
Applications to present at the 2021 ECA AJEC Research Symposium are now being accepted. The symposium will be held online, over 11–12 February 2021. Find out more and submit your paper here.
ECA WebWatch—Issue 341, September 2020.