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The latest in early childhood news

Making news this fortnight … a new report by the Mitchell Institute examines how much Australian families spend on early childhood education and care (ECEC); get involved in NAIDOC Week celebrations across Australia; and Labor builds on its Cheaper Child Care for Working Families policy. Celebrate science, engineering, mathematics and technology during National Science Week; the NDIS produces a guideline for its early childhood approach; and Goodstart Early Learning releases a new app for educators.

Find the latest in state and territory news and jump down to read what ECA teams have been doing.
Mitchell Institute report 
A new report released by the Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy at Victoria University reveals ‘early childhood education and care is unaffordable for about 386,000 Australian families’. Read the Counting the cost to families: Accessing childcare affordability in Australia report here.
Celebrate NAIDOC week  
NAIDOC Week celebrations are being held across Australia (4–11 July) to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait lander peoples and communities. ECEC settings can get involved in NAIDOC Week by sharing or participating in events here.
Australian curriculum review
Eleven organisations including Reconciliation Australia and Early Childhood Australia have signed a joint statement of support for the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture in the Australian curriculum. Read the media release and statement here
Labor policy 
Labor has announced its new policy on the Cheaper Child Care for Working Families plan, which is aimed at ‘improving transparency’ in the ECEC sector for Australian families and taxpayers. The federal opposition says if elected it will require large child care providers to publicly report their revenue and profit to Child Care Finder
National Science Week
National Science Week, to be held from 14–22 August 2021, aims to encourage interest and involvement in science, engineering, mathematics and technology. Little Scientists are offering free virtual incursions for children, their families and educators. Go to the website to find out more about in-person and virtual events. 
NDIS early childhood approach 
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has produced a guideline for its early childhood approach. The early childhood approach supports children younger than seven who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families, by linking the family with local support services such as community health centres and educational settings. 
Goodstart Safety app
Goodstart Early Learning has released a new app for the ECEC sector. The app, Goodstart Safety, provides information on the key health, safety and wellbeing risks faced by early learning professionals and how to address them effectively. Learn more and download it here
In state and territory news...

In Tasmania, the state is one step closer to finalising its Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy with the release of the Your Voice, your views, your say consultation report. 

In Victoria, new Child Safe Standards are being introduced to better protect children and young people from abuse. The Victorian Government has announced that the new Standards will commence on 1 July 2022.

In the ACT, Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry announced more funding to help expand domestic and family violence support programs through increases to the Safer Families Levy.

The South Australia Minister for Child Protection, the Hon. Rachel Sanderson MP, announced that the state’s most vulnerable children and young people will be better supported through a new foster care program, Treatment Foster Care Oregon

Dreaming stories: A springboard for learning
The Research in Practice Series book-and-DVD set, Dreaming stories: A springboard for learning, records the experiences of several diverse services using The Dreaming short films to introduce young children to a huge range of concepts. 
New sessions
Be You Spotlights are interactive sessions focused on specific topics. They have content and activities for attendees to engage with during and after the session. Book a Spotlight here. 
New on The Spoke
Tanya Burr talks about the valuable work of early childhood education professionals and how ECEC deserves to be referred to as a sector or profession and not an industry, because, she argues, ‘learning is not a product’. 
ECA Shop: Let's play!
This practical workbook from Network SA features a collection of Aboriginal games and activities for services to use all year round, teaching children a range of traditional skills including storytelling, observation and tracking. Purchase Let’s play! on the ECA Shop here. 
Early Learning Matters Week 
The countdown to Early Learning Matters Week 2021 has officially begun! Celebrate early learning from 26–30 July. Share examples of high-quality learning on social media, using the hashtag #EarlyLearningMatters. 
Early bird closing 23 July!
We’re excited to announce two panels have been added to the ECA National Conference program, one on children’s rights and the other on building an identity as a profession. Plus, don’t forget the early bird rate ends 23 July.
NAIDOC Week in your community 
Available on the ECA Learning Hub, the NAIDOC Week: Stories in Practice webcast asks educators to consider how they engage with and celebrate NAIDOC Week in their local community context, and explains how to embed it as part of everyday learning. 
ECA WebWatch—Issue 359,
July 2021.
Preference Centre