What we did doesn’t end today

It seems that we’re extremely close to an announcement that the refugees illegally imprisoned in Australian-funded and managed island trauma factories will be sent to a variety of other countries as part of some byzantine Government negotiations.

I’m writing this quickly to make a point regarding this announcement – the specifics don’t matter. The arrangements don’t matter. What matters is the people (including children) at the centre of all this.


The teaching of tolerance in a climate of fear

It feels pretty unnecessary to add yet more words to the rise of Trump, but I think a lot of people are processing this through writing. That’s how I do it, anyway. So bear with me, I’ll be quick.

For early childhood professions – educators, teachers, managers, leaders, policy makers – there is now no more crucial time to focus our efforts and energies more on intentionally teaching tolerance, and diversity, and the evils of prejudice.

The children we work with with soon inherit a world that appears still riven with intolerance and acceptance of the worst aspects of human nature – even elevating the personifications of those characteristics to one of the most powerful positions in our world.

As with so many things, feelings of powerlessness and defeat are overwhelming. But if you are in a position to either influence the planning and programs offered to children (or influence those developing and providing them), why not commit to taking action. By intentionally planning for the only things that can eventually defeat the darker parts of ourselves – role-modelling, teaching and enacting tolerance and respect.

Take the dinosaurs, play-doh and puppets off the planned and documented program for a little while. Focus on kindness, and celebrating difference. A better world depends on it.


The Early Ed Show – 10 episodes down!

Another quick self-promotion break – the podcast I’ve been making with my friends and colleagues Lisa and Leanne hit our tenth regular episode this week.


Creative approaches to accessing professional learning and development

As with all professions, it’s important to be continuous learners. No matter what our current level of qualification, there’s always more to learn and be challenged by. That’s why ongoing professional learning and development is so important. It means we can keep up-to-date with the latest research and thinking about the work we do.

For early childhood educators, this is even more important. Research and thinking about learning in the Birth – 5 years has dramatically increased recently, and every day seems to reaffirm how important those foundational years are. The knowledge that underpins the sector is changing and updating all the time, which means we need to change and update our thinking all the time as well!


Response to the Children in Detention letter campaign

In August, 132 early childhood professionals sent letters to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, calling on the Government to end the inhumane treatment of child refugees on Nauru and Manus Island.

Today I received a response – it can be viewed here. I have also posted the text below.

While I am pleased that the Department took the time to reply, I am not happy with their response – nor that the Minister or Prime Minister did not reply personally.

Advocacy News

The Early Education Show

Please forgive this quick bit of self-publicity.

Today myself and two of my favourite people in the early childhood sphere launched the first episode of the Early Education Show.

We’re excited and enjoying this little experiment in a new medium for the important issues affecting young children and early learning to be discussed, debated and analysed.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, I’d really appreciate you giving it a go.

You can find it on the iTunes store here, or by listening online at Podbean

Big thanks to Lisa Bryant and Leanne Gibbs for joining me on this little adventure.



Children in detention letter campaign

It’s easy to feel powerless. The recent media around the experience of children and other refugees on Nauru is sickening. With bipartisan support from the two major parties, it’s hard to know what can change it.

I like to write. I’ve already written to the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader on this issue. If you work in early childhood and aren’t sure where to start or what to say, I decided to make an easy way to get started.

Click here. It’ll take you through to the letter-writing campaign and tell you what to do.

The odd letter might not do much. But imagine a flood of letters from early childhood educators, teachers, Directors and other professionals bombarding the Prime Minister and the Immigration Minister.

Children are children. They don’t deserve what Australia is doing to them. If you work with young children, please consider taking action.


We abuse children

It’s 26 July 2016. I live in a country that abuses children.

Not by accident. Not as a result of rogue operators, or an imperfect system.

As the result of policies and systems that work exactly as they are designed to.


The importance of relationships

The way we think about early childhood education has changed a lot in a relatively short space of time. It’s amazing to remember that across Australia, guaranteed access to preschool education in the year before school is a very recent initiative. The Universal Access commitment from all Australian Governments (Federal, State and Territory) was only agreed in 2009. For a long time, education was something that only happened once children started formal primary education.

Blog Policy

Labor’s ECEC policy blunts hard edges of Coalition’s plans, but fundamental reform still nowhere in sight

Mid-way into the endless 2016 election campaign, Labor has released the details of its early childhood education and care policies.