University research funding and international student numbers rose, and will likely fall, together

Australia’s universities face  multi-billion dollar annual budget shortfalls over the next few years. Fewer international student arrivals are the single biggest cause of falling revenues. In 2018 26 per cent of university revenue came from international students, up from just 3 per cent in 1990. Universities were warned about relying financially on international students. Since ...

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Early Childhood Music Education: Does delivery matter?

Research shows us the benefits of music for language and literacy as well as self-regulation and mental health. But does how we teach music matter?Musician and early childhood teacher, AMY ROTHE explores different methods of teaching music to young children, such as the Suzuki method, and delves into her personal teaching experiences and practice. When you […]

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Deconstructing early childhood practices

In this one blog, we bring you three perspectives on translating research into practice. Dr Andi Salamon, Leanne Gibbs and Mandy Cooke share their insights about using the ‘theory of practice architectures’ in three very different early childhood contexts. Though each author focused on different aspects of early childhood education, they all used the theory […]

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New evidence: Stark inequity of online access for rural and remote students

It’s long been known that those in regional and remote areas of Australia do not have access to the same quality of internet as their metropolitan counterparts. Now we have more evidence about how regional and remote students are disadvantaged by this low-quality access. We should mention here that Australia’s average internet download speed is ...

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What lies ahead

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has been working hard to understand the issues for members, families and children and provide effective advocacy and representation. As we face the second half of 2020, it might also be valuable for our members to understand the ‘view from here’ at ECA. What has guided our […]

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Tackling difficult conversations

As Black Lives Matter protests have swept across the world, many of us are motivated to learn more about racism, and talk to our students and children in ways that can facilitate change. Education is a powerful tool for creating change. So, it’s important teachers don’t shy away from difficult conversations in the classroom, even if […]

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Black Lives matter; We matter

So, I lie awake not being able to sleep, as the fire of my Ancestors burns inside me for change. I roll over trying to hide from it all, as I am tired, having just worked a full-time week, raising my gorgeous kids and teaching them from home, working and living for my Community, my ...

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Speculating on teacher attrition in Australia: Might COVID-19 be ‘the straw that breaks the camel’s back’?

It is worth considering the potential impact COVID-19 might have on teachers, many already feeling devalued and over-worked, as they return to their classrooms after a period of heightened pressure to perform in on-line learning environments. Teacher attrition is a persistent and well-documented problem in Australian education, especially in historically disadvantaged schools where teachers are ...

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The ethics of safety

Early childhood education and care services have shown enormous strength, courage and resourcefulness as the COVID-19 pandemic bites. Many have been forced to swiftly create new protocols for their learning community and ways to keep everyone informed and connected—all while experiencing their own personal and professional hardships. This blog explores how to ensure that new […]

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The power of community

This is a story of one early learning service and how they have responded to the pandemic within their community of children, families and fellow educators. Windsor Community Children’s Centre (WCCC)  in Melbourne, share how deep reflection, the power of community and strong support has helped them navigate this time and find a way ahead. As […]

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Public schools DO account for their funding: Public school autonomy processes are onerous and exacting

Among the turmoil generated by COVD19 for schools – are they open, are they closed, staggered attendance, online learning – and significant planning and workload on schools leaders and educators, the New South Wales Auditor-General released a report reviewing needs-based equity funding under the NSW Local Schools, Local Decisions (LSLD) reform. The timing of the ...

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Financial literacy programs taught in schools are exposed as value-ridden, flawed & totally inadequate

Most of what is taught and learned in financial literacy programs in schools reflects middle class values and a conservative ideology about the role of government and individuals in achieving economic prosperity. The COVID-19 pandemic is now disrupting this thinking. Governments tend to take a conventional view of financial literacy, seeing it as a toolkit ...

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What can the new ‘normal’ teach us?

What can the new ‘normal’ teach us about how and what young children should be learning? ‘Is it possible that we can use this opportunity to create a new normal around what and how young children learn?’ KAREN HOPE explores theories in early childhood education in a time where online learning has been the only […]

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Transition (back) to school

Some children have started returning to education settings in some parts of Australia. The word ‘transition’ is being used in the COVID-19 context—but what do we already know about transitions and can this knowledge help support children, families, educators and communities at this time? Successful transitions Transitions aren’t one-off or sudden events. They happen over […]

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Leadership: dance vs data

Managers reach for data, but leaders offer more in difficult times writes Stephanie Jackiewicz. While data is necessary, we need a different style of leadership, one based on relationships—something at which early childhood educators excel. ‘The only thing that is constant is change’—Heraclitus. This quote from Greek philosopher Heraclitus captures his ‘insistence on ever-present change […]

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Reading, books and libraries

ECA caught up with the Executive Director of Public Libraries and Engagement, from the State Library of Queensland, Louise Denoon, who shares insights into how children can develop a love for reading and the role adults can play in that. Louise says ‘creating opportunities for child led engagement is a great way to spark creativity and gather […]

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When the going gets tough, artists and arts educators get going

As 2020 lurches through multiple uncertainties the Australian arts community, already feeling the effects from budget cuts and a stripped back Australia Council funding round, discovered many members do not have  access to the Government’s stimulus measures. Australian artists and arts workers united early in April for a day of action under the hashtag #CreateAustraliasFuture to remind us all how much ...

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Offline distance education (already happening all around Australia) can be highly successful

As many of our children continue with their online learning, there is concern that those with limited access to technology will be disadvantaged. Access to online technology is indeed important, however Australia has been schooling children through distance education long before online connectivity was an option. As distance education teachers, we can reassure concerned families, ...

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Researchers should try to keep researching during the pandemic. Here’s 5 tips to help you do it

Educational researchers, like many other workers during this COVID-19 pandemic, will be working from home for the foreseeable future. Most have additional teaching responsibilities so currently they will be pedaling fast to convert their teaching to online formats. Many will be juggling new or additional carer duties while working remotely. During this period, and afterwards, ...

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Remote learning in early childhood: can it work?

This is a view from the frontline. Writing during the lockdown, MEG ANASTASI, an early childhood educator in a long day care setting, reflects on the push to online learning caused by COVID-19. She worries it is submerging what we know about the way young children learn. Educators and teachers, she says, know that play […]

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Tuning into families

This is the third in a series of blogs by CATHARINE HYDON on the idea of professionalism in times of uncertainty—a conversation worth having. This blog explores how early childhood professionals can tune into families even when there are questions we can’t answer and futures we can’t know drawing on a professional code of ethics. Find […]

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Students say uni online learning is mostly ‘busy work’. Here’s what will really engage them

To combat high failure and student drop-out rates, universities have developed strategies to monitor online student engagement through measurable activities. We explored if and how these monitoring activities accurately measure online engagement. Perhaps our most surprising finding was that the teacher-education students in our study did not see their set online tasks as being valuable ...

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Will mass schooling-at-home lead to the death of schools?

All over the country families are trying to cope with the consequences of helping educate their children at home. The immediate short-term problems are trying to keep children engaged in learning activities provided by teachers, but already medium-term challenges are casting terrifying shadows. Centre-stage is the inequality around digital access which affects all of us ...

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How to create a learning environment

With additional social distancing, self-isolation, school closures and working from home pressures, there will be new stresses for parents and caregivers of young children, and children themselves. This not only relates to health concerns, but also the prospect of establishing new routines and changing dynamics in your household. Our resource Managing Change provides insightful advice, […]

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Who do you believe?

What is a professional to do? CATHARINE HYDON asks when events outside of our control upend all our professional certainties and make the present and the future complex and hard to navigate. This blog considers another angle on professionalism in times of uncertainty—a conversation worth having. Scroll down to find other blogs in the series and […]

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Parenting during a pandemic

Every parent and family around the country is newly appreciating the value of educators to the lives of young children. You may find this blog helpful to share with families in your early learning community or you might be at home yourself with young children and facing the prospect of Term 2 and how you […]

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Challenges for young children during the pandemic

DR FAY HADLEY and DR LIZ ROUSE look at what it looks like to be a child citizen in a pandemic and the invaluable role of educators for children and their families, in this time of rapid change. Fay and Liz also suggest ways services can create an extra layer of security for children whilst in […]

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Thoughts about change

Everyone has experienced a change one way or another in 2020. PAM LINKE shares her perspective on change for children, the impact of the unknown and what we can do as adults to support their feelings. Pam is also the author of an ECA publication, Managing change: Everyday learning about babies, toddlers and preschoolers—a helpful […]

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