The latest in early childhood news

In this issue… The 2020–21 Federal Budget is handed down; Archie Roach AM releases educator resources about the Stolen Generations; the approval process for new early learning services is streamlined; and ACECQA launches resources to support early learning services to achieve Exceeding status. Extra support is available for early learning services via the Community Child Care Fund (CCCF); the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) are redeveloping their website; school libraries remain an important cornerstone of children’s development; and you can contribute to emerging research about the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, concern grows in Canada as provincial governments strip back early childhood frameworks and regulations

Find the latest in state and territory news and jump down to read what ECA teams have been doing.
Budget news
Early Childhood Australia released a statement about the 2020–21 Federal Budget soon after it was handed down, and another on the Opposition’s response. The budget includes a JobMaker Hiring Credit of $200 a week for employers that hire individuals aged under 35 years who were previously on JobSeeker. The Grattan Institute and the Mitchell Institute both affirmed the importance of educators and high-quality early learning for children’s best outcomes as well as economic recovery. 
A shared history
Archie Roach AM, in partnership with the ABC and Culture is Life, has launched a suite of resources for educators to guide critical conversations about the Stolen Generations. Suitable for students from kindergarten to Year 12, the resources hope to ignite a sense of place, belonging, and identity for all Australians. As a part of the initiative, Roach’s song about the Stolen Generations, Took the Children Away, has been adapted into a children’s book.

Early learning qualifications

In Canada, early childhood organisations have raised concerns as several provinces have shifted to abolish qualifications, regulations and frameworks in early learning services. The Atkinson Centre reports that one-third of positions are filled by unqualified educators. Closer to home, Anne Kennedy explores why qualifications matter for early childhood educators, families and children. 
Research to consider
The Australian National University is conducting a study to learn how individuals have used technology during the pandemic and in Victoria, the Department of Education and Training (DET) seeks early childhood educators who have used technology to facilitate remote learning this year. 
Streamlined approvals
Under the Federal Government’s Deregulation Agenda, new early learning services will only have to submit one application for both Commonwealth and state/territory approval to establish a new centre. Currently, new centres must apply separately for provider and service approval
School libraries
School libraries play an important part in the development of young children. As school librarians and libraries face ongoing defunding, this article explores how they support children’s social, emotional and intellectual development. 
Exceeding expectations
ACECQA has released new Exceeding NQS guidance to support services to achieve Exceeding status. The resource includes a series of case studies that offer practical and illustrative examples of high-quality practice.
Support for services
Early learning services at risk of imminent closure may be eligible for extra support through the CCCF Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity. There are additional support structures in place for early learning services located in Victoria. 
New DESE website
Early childhood education and care content on education.gov.au will soon move to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment new website, dese.gov.au. DESE will soon be undertaking research on how to best communicate with the sector. 
In state and territory news...

The New South Wales Government and ACECQA launch a new self-assessment working document to support continuous improvement on an ongoing basis and prepare educators and services for assessment and rating. Also, free resources to support children navigating roads and traffic safely are now available; and annual fee changes come into effect for mobile and occasional care services.

In Queensland, 31% of early childhood education and care services provide transport for children in their care, according to a recent survey. The results will feed into new regulations for early childhood services and the ‘Look before you lock’ campaign. 

Scholarships for VET qualifications will soon be available to unemployed young people in regional areas; eligible occupations include early education and care and outside school hours care. 

In Western Australia, additional funding will be allocated to programs that empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and women to access education and attend, or continue, school. 

Children in the Northern Territory town of Moulden join a ‘pedestrian bus’ in a fun, safe and healthy way to meet transport challenges for children getting to school.
Vision and philosophy
Vision and philosophy are essential components of the operation of early learning services. Leanne Gibbs explores how to create and uphold meaningful and inspirational philosophies and visions that guide best practice.
Professional publications
Inspire critical thinking and creative practice with subscriptions to ECA’s popular publications. Subscribers receive four issues a year and access to exclusive resources to share with colleagues and families. In October, get 10% off Research in Practice and Everyday Learning Series subscriptions. 
Registrations open
We look forward to coming together in Brisbane from 21 to 24 April 2021—will we see you there? Early bird physical registrations and virtual delegate passes for the ECA National Conference are available. Don’t forget to apply to present to the 2021 AJEC Symposium—applications close 31 October 2020. 
School age care webinar
Join Be You’s latest webinar Resilience in School Age Care to hear how school age care programs support resilience and what mental health looks like for 4- to 12-year-olds. Secure your spot here.
We're hiring
We’re hiring across various teams. Start a rewarding career with Australia’s peak childhood advocacy organisation. 
Visions of play
Claire Warden shares 10 visions and values of outdoor play. Read about the Federal Budget’s implications for preschool, and how states, territories and families are plugging the funding gaps left by federal government commitments.
Anti-bias approaches
Diversity and difference make communities strong and resilient; explore these topics with bestselling publications like The Anti-Bias Approach, curated children’s books, and other resources on the ECA Shop.
www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au
ECA WebWatch—Issue 342, September 2020.