The latest in early childhood news

In this issue… The Morrison government announces additional funding for mental health programs; a House of Representatives committee reports on remote learning and complex environments; and The Conversation gives us food for thought in an article about whether the major parties are too heavily focused on subsidies and tax deductions, rather than what’s best for children; also join ECA and Thrive by Five for the free webinar, Play: Are our children getting enough? And lastly, researchers are surveying educators with significant experience of working with children with a disability.

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

Mental health funding
The Morrison government has announced an investment of $133.5 million to support child, youth and perinatal mental health programs. The Be You initiative will be extended for two years from 2021–23, through an additional investment of $46 million. Approximately 560,000 Australian children and adolescents are estimated to have a mental illness. Read more.
Remote learning
The House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training has released a report from its inquiry into the education of students in remote and complex environments, recognising the barriers to young children accessing early education and care in these areas. Also, read the Family Matters Report here.

What's best for children?
This article published on The Conversation looks at the Labor and Liberal policies for early childhood education. It questions whether the policies focus too heavily on subsidies and tax deductions, rather than quality and the best interests of children. Read more.

How much is enough play?

Thrive by Five and ECA are jointly hosting the second webinar, Play: Are our children getting enough? on Friday 4 December, 11.15 am–12.00 pm (AEDT). Join us for this free event and hear from ECA CEO Sam Page, Dr Rosemary Cahill, Dr Kate Highfield, Dr Andi Salamon and Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill.

Working with children with a disability 
Researchers at disability service provider Scope would like input from professionals with 10+ years of experience working directly with children with a disability. The purpose is to help assess whether this outcomes survey is relevant to children with a disability, and user-friendly for carers to complete.

In state and territory news...

The state’s most widely used resource for assisting teachers in the classroom, What Works Best, created by experts at NSW Education, is now available as a quick guide for parents. It provides families with information on learning and wellbeing resources and support for additional needs.
The Victorian Budget 2020—21 will deliver a $773.8 million investment in early childhood education, including $169.6 million to help cover the cost of kinder for up to 100,000 Victorian families. The Andrews Labor government will also increase the availability of before and after school care. Read the media release here.

The ACT government today announced five new playgrounds opening in multiple suburbs across Canberra for the summer holidays. Read the media release here.

The Tasmanian Liberal government will provide $4.9 million over the next three years (starting in 2021) 
for the equivalent of 80 Teacher Assistants to Tasmanian Government Schools. The extra support provided by Teacher Assistants and Education Support Specialists in the early years is critical for student learning. Read the media release here

Fully flexible tickets
Expand your knowledge at the 2021 ECA National Conference! Hear from some of the biggest names in early childhood about new research, and new ideas; also hear from thought leaders outside of your field. Book your fully flexible ticket now!

Provocative prices
Save 15% on ECA’s Box of Provocations and Box of Leadership Provocations during the ECA Summer Sale. The collections are intended to support critical reflection, discussion and deeper thinking about teaching, learning and what it means to be a professional educator. Purchase one for yourself or as a gift to your team.

Visions for the future
Vision and philosophy are essential components in the operation of early learning services—when was the last time your service reviewed or reflected on them? Presenter Leanne Gibbs shares case studies from leading early childhood services and helps you review your current philosophy, or shape a new one.

ECA Publications
The African proverb, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ aptly summarises the value of community. The latest Research in Practice Series title explores the benefits of forging partnerships with the wider community. It includes case studies and tips to demonstrate examples of community partnerships and their value.

Wellbeing plan
The Be You Wellbeing Plan for Educators will help you to consider strategies and resources you can use to promote your wellbeing at and outside work. Download your copy here.
ECA WebWatch—Issue 345, November 2020.