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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Mid-way into the endless 2016 election campaign, Labor has released the details of its early childhood education and care policies.
From July, the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector will face some significant changes to the way support to improve quality approaches is provided. The Federal Government will cease funding Professional Support Coordinators (PSCs) in each State and Territory, while Inclusion Support Providers (ISPs) will continue with an expanded funding framework.
Additional funding to support inclusion issues is of course very welcome. The current Inclusion Support system has been underfunded for many years, particularly in the funding able to be provided to services to be able to raise the educator:child ratio to support inclusive practice. But what will this additional funding achieve, and is it worth the loss of the PSCs?
This week, the federal Department of Education is conducting a nationwide “Workforce Census” of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. This census will provide important information on the qualifications, retention rates and other factors that provide a snapshot of the early childhood educator role in Australia.
This is a good opportunity to take a step back and look holistically at how early childhood educators are viewed and supported, both within the ECEC sector and in the community. The National Quality Framework (NQF) was introduced in 2012, and one of its key pillars was the acknowledgement that quality learning could be provided by qualified and valued educators.
Four years on, how close are we to realising that vision?