The latest in early childhood news

Making news this fortnight… Early childhood services can now apply for a Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) grant, with funding meant to help address barriers to participation; read about SNAICC’s findings from the Genuine Partnerships Project and the work they’re doing with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations; and the Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood has released a report with case studies from early childhood development networks on change and impact for children, families and educators. Also, coming into a new year, the Healthy Eating Advisory Service has developed early childhood resources in line with the National Quality Framework (NQF); early childhood services and schools can apply for for Reconciliation Australia’s 2021 Narragunnawali Awards from Monday 1 February; and watch the STEM story time video with the Women in STEM Ambassador. Lastly, Smiling Mind and ECA are recruiting participants for a pilot of a three-part online module series—express your interest; and if you're planning for professional learning this year, check out Inspiring Quality, ECA's new Professional Learning Guide.

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

CCCF round 3 now open!
Funding of $117 million has been approved to help early childhood education services address barriers to childcare participation, particularly targeting disadvantaged and vulnerable families and communities. Applications close 22 February. Find out more.

Genuine Partnerships Project
The Australian Institute of Family Studies, the Department of Social Services and SNAICC are working together on the Genuine Partnerships Project to strengthen partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations. This piece outlines SNAICC's findings of the progress to achieving genuine partnership goals.
EC development networks
The Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood has released a report with case studies from early childhood development networks. It shows how these networks bring about changes that impact children, families and those who work in the early years. The report also touches on COVID-19 response and recovery. Read more.

Healthy eating resource
The Healthy Eating Advisory Service has developed a series of new resources aligned with the NQF on integrating healthy eating principles into ECEC services. These resources provide educators with simple and practical tips, including on introducing healthy foods and cooking with children, which link to learning outcomes and skill development.

Narragunnawali awards

Early learning services and schools are invited to apply for Reconciliation Australia’s 2021 Narragunnawali Awards, which recognises the commitment to reconciliation, from Monday 1 February. Nominations from third parties are already being accepted. Click here to find out about the categories, prizes and process.

STEM story time
STEM story time is an interactive space adventure for early learners from the federal government’s Women in STEM Ambassador. Children aged 3–6, parents and carers join an astronaut on a journey to the International Space Station, learning about space and problem-solving along the way. Watch it here.

Smiling mind panel 
Smiling Mind, with assistance from ECA, has developed a tailored program that supports the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young children. Our organisations are recruiting participants to evaluate a three-part online module series. If you or your service would like to take part in this series review (from February 2021), please submit an expression of interest here.

Planning for professional learning in 2021?
Early Childhood Australia’s professional learning teams are excited to present Inspiring Quality, the 2021 Professional Learning Guide. This includes five tips for planning professional learning and a collection of templates to help you plan—whether you’re an individual educator or a team leader. We would welcome your feedback on this work and invite you to share your experience in planning for professional learning via email. (

In state and territory news...

The New South Wales government will provide more support for Aboriginal children to lessen the number of children entering out-of-home care.
The Northern Territory government is providing $150 to every child in the Northern Territory from preschool to year 12 to assist with the cost of returning to school in 2021.
The South Australian government is launching a family reunification program in 2021 as part of an $18.2 million joint state–federal government initiative. The program will support children in care aged six years and younger to be safely reunited with their parents.

AJEC Research Symposium
There are only a few weeks left until the 2021 AJEC Research Symposium. This online event will bring a powerful line-up of speakers together to discuss the complexities and changes of contemporary research in early childhood. Book now!

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

New ECA publication
Celebrating Through Relationships is now available to purchase on the ECA Shop! This Research in Practice Series title explores how to best support teachers and educators to think about the celebrations that occur in early childhood settings from multiple perspectives.

Planning for wellbeing in 2021
The Be You framework—Professional Learning, Resources and Tools—can guide what we do for wellbeing as a learning community, in our relationships and for ourselves. Explore Planning for Wellbeing: mine, yours, ours here.
ECA WebWatch—Issue 347, January 2021.