Is there a need for multi-faith education in all Australian schools?

Australia’s diversity is frequently celebrated by politicians as a multicultural success story. Schools, particularly public schools, educating children with diverse cultural and social backgrounds, are seen as the lynchpin to such success. Yet schools and other education sites in Australia constantly confront tensions and difficulties in their efforts to be inclusive and to create a ...

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Choosing children: A male perspective working as an early childhood educator

TRISTAN PAGE is a dedicated early childhood educator with a true passion for his job. He shares his experiences as a man in the early childhood education sector, over the last 18 years. Tristan explains how he incorporates a personal perspective into everyday teaching within an educational program. As a man working in the early […]

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Exploring Indigenous ways of knowing and being

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is on Sunday 4 August 2019. This year’s theme is We Play, We Learn, We Belong. In this piece, we share the importance of Indigenous culture and language in the early years through case studies and the series Little J & Big Cuz. This animation follows the everyday lives of two Aboriginal […]

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HILDA findings on Australian families’ experience of childcare should be a call-to-arms for government

Work-family time and money challenges should be seen by governments as ideal opportunities for good policy-making. Australian parents are disadvantaged by a lack of affordable childcare, with childcare costs rising by about 145% in real terms since 2002, the latest HILDA study reveals. Childcare costs have more than doubled since 2002 Expenditure on childcare for children not […]

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What’s the story with child care costs?

The last week has seen a flurry of media releases and reports on the cost of child care and whether the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is achieving its goals of making childcare more affordable and boosting workforce participation. The conclusions contained in the media releases and reports often don’t seem consistent, and can raise […]

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The flawed thinking behind a mandatory phonics screening test

The New South Wales Government recently announced it intends to “trial an optional phonics screening test” for Year One students. This seems to be following a similar pattern to South Australia where the test, developed in the UK, was first trialled in 2017 and is now imposed on all public schools in the state. The ...

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Love and care—where has it gone in early years practice?

We constantly use the term education and care in early childhood, but what does care mean? DR LIZ ROUSE and DR FAY HADLEY explore the ideas and the research in this ‘hotly debated’ topic. Are educators expected to have ‘professional love’ for the children in their care? What are the benefits and limitations of approaching […]

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The importance of baby and toddler mental health

‘The early years of a human being’s life have a significant impact on lifelong mental health and wellbeing.’ Be You shares the importance of mental health and wellbeing of babies’ and toddlers and suggested resources for families and educators. Be You will be attending the Infants and Toddlers Conference held in Sydney, registration closes 17 July. New […]

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How can a ‘learn by making mistakes’ approach work for outdoor education teachers?

Within many contemporary social, workplace and sporting contexts, mistakes are often perceived to be negative, resulting in underperformance and something to be avoided. Within education, in contrast, mistakes are widely seen to be“the essence of learning”. Such an approach is well researched and long recognised, even though it seems in direct competition with the prevalent mindset of ...

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Reflecting on NAIDOC Week

Adam Duncan reflects on NAIDOC Week in this repost from Narragunnawali News, expressing reasons why sharing with children about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions is an important part of their education. NAIDOC Week often falls in the school holidays, which can make it tricky for schools and services to be a […]

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Shifting perspectives: Our role in partnerships with families

DR KATEY DE GIOIA reflects on a discussion with teachers about learning goals for children, which led her to think about partnerships between families and teachers in early childhood education and care. Dr De Gioia will be presenting at the 2019 ECA National Conference in September on ‘There’s more to being a teacher than playing in […]

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Portfolios: Pedagogical documentation or souvenir?

KAREN HOPE shares some key discussion points after facilitating a group of educators, who were delving into re-thinking ways to document learning and development for educators and children. Karen asked the group ‘what current documentation practices might they leave behind?’—This opened up ideas to what changes could be implemented to create documentation to improve ideas, […]

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What if compulsory schooling was a 21st Century invention?

There are many long-running debates in Australia around the schooling our children. Often the battle lines are drawn between traditional approaches to education versus new designs for schooling. There is often a huge divide over concepts such as quality, equity, mastery, assessment and the case for what some call future-focused skills. There is even debate ...

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Taken-for-granted beliefs about babies’ capabilities

DR ANDI SALAMON shares findings from her research with babies and toddlers. Salamon’s research includes close observations of babies’ social behaviour and capacity for independently managing themselves. She investigated the beliefs educators have of babies’ capabilities how they shape educators’ practices, and, ultimately, babies’ experiences. As an early childhood teacher, toddlers first and then babies became […]

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The importance of outdoor play in winter

Montessori Academy shares how important it is for children to continue outdoor play in the months of winter. It is common for adults to restrict children to indoor play, and only permit play outdoors when it is warm and sunny. The benefits explained in this article could lead you to reconsider children’s play outside in […]

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Education for sustainability in practice

If we all take the time to care for our environment, we will make a difference together. DR SUE ELLIOTT and Australia-Aotearoa Alliance for Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (The Alliance) share how to implement sustainable ways into child care services, from workshops to wiser consumption and what we should consider when purchasing goods. This […]

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Healthy habits start early

With the brunt of winter hitting, it can be hard to continue a healthy and active lifestyle in a cold climate. LARA HERNANDEZ and JOE XU from the NSW Office of Preventive Health share various resources and facts for educators and families; they also mention a new program developed by NSW Office of Preventive Health called ‘Time […]

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Sharing in Australia’s culture

‘Deadly not dead’ was what came to mind for Rebecca Rechichi after attending her first Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Reconciliation Symposium in May held in Melbourne. Rebecca is an early childhood teacher from Western Australia and after attending the Symposium she approached ECA to discuss and reflect on her experience. This is her story. ECA: […]

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Observing children deepens our understanding of their behaviour (BETLS tool)

Observing children is a great way of getting to know them. It’s also how we can gather information about their mental health and wellbeing, including noticing their strengths and behaviours that may cause concern or present possible signs of mental health issues. Read more about the behaviour, emotions, thoughts, learning and social relationships (BETLS) observation […]

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The image of the child re-imagined on Instagram

Many children around the world now have a digital footprint before they can even walk! Their pictures and videos are featured on their families’ social media channels or even their own dedicated pages managed by their families. But what are the risks involved? At what point does it become ‘sharenting’? And do educators have a […]

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How the parties compare on key early childhood policies

Since the beginning of the election year, Early Childhood Australia (ECA) along with other early childhood peak bodies, research organisations, service providers and community groups has been promoting seven key policy areas as the Election Priorities for the Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign. The three major political parties—Australian Labor Party, Liberal-National Coalition, and The Australian […]

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The wage rates are too low and turnover is too high

The Australian Labor Party’s election promise to work out with the early childhood sector how they can facilitate a 20 percent wage increase over eight years is a bold and very welcome move that will generate far more economic benefits than the temporary adjustment costs, writes Early Childhood Australia CEO SAMANTHA PAGE. The early childhood profession […]

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Education for sustainability

DR SUE ELLIOTT explains sustainability, the key concepts, the research and what changes we can make to the environment in early childhood settings through sustainable practice. This piece is an extension of the ECA e-newsletter, ‘Spend a minute … on education for sustainability with guest author Dr Sue Elliott’. Education for sustainability is about change, […]

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Make it personal and meaningful: educators and reconciliation in 2019

How can early childhood settings incorporate reconciliation through everyday learning? ECA caught up with preschool teacher and educational leader, ADAM DUNCAN, to hear his views on reconciliation. In the lead up to the 2019 ECA Reconciliation Symposium (9–10 May in Melbourne) Adam shares his thoughts with ECA on how educators can achieve change towards reconciliation. […]

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My reflections on reconciliation

Cultural competence and reconciliation are recurrent topics in our line of work. But when it comes to putting these into practice, we’re often faced with more questions than answers. I’d like to put forth my perspective and hopefully it might help my colleagues in taking the first step towards their reconciliation journey. As the director […]

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Teacher targeted bullying in Australian schools

The problem of teachers being bullied and harassed by students and parents has been heavily canvased in mainstream media recently. Yet, many remain sceptical, often dismissing what teachers perceive as bullying and harassment as just parents looking after their children, and probably the result of a teacher’s inability to manage a classroom anyway. Parents claim ...

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