Early learning news and links

    The early learning sector is constantly abuzz with new initiatives and research. Here are a few of the latest news bites and research findings from the sector.

    Date Title Synopsis
    13/6/2012 New grants for ACT will improve the quality of care for children Early childhood educators and carers in ACT will be able to help all children, regardless of where they live or their background, to get the highest quality care thanks to new Australian Government grants that encourage inclusion for all children and provide professional development. Read more here.
    16/4/2012 Education programs target pre-school children The latest neuroscience research on young children's brains may have major consequences for our education system. Eighty per cent of brain development occurs from the time a baby's in the womb to the age of three. This means children living in vulnerable situations need educational interventions by age three, not five when most primary schools start. Watch or read the Lateline story here.
    23/1/2012 Quality childcare shows 30-year benefits Following a 30-year study in the US, researchers have found that adults who participated in a high-quality early childhood education program from 0-5 years are still benefitting from the experience as they are more likely to be continuously employed and graduate from university. Read more about the research here.
    9/1/2012 Child Care Update, January 2012 The Australian Government has released its quarterly Child Care Update report. The publication provides information about childcare across Australia for the March quarter 2011. You can find a copy of the report here.
    13/12/2011 Preschool crucial to bridge Indigenous education gap A seven-year study by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has found access to a high-quality preschool education is essential for Indigenous children to establish a solid basis for achivement in the later years of school, and to help 'close the gap' between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Strong links between schools and Indigenous communities are also important. Read about the study here.
    5/12/2011 Early Learning Matters The Save the Children Foundation in the USA has produced a video as part of their ‘First Five Years Project’ that outlines why early learning is one of the smartest investments we can make. If we want greater success in later life and a better-skilled workforce, we need to ensure the proper development of our most at-risk children at these earliest ages. Watch the video.
    25/10/2011 Childcare burden eased for families in need Federal Child Care Minister Kate Ellis announced more than 1,500 occasional child care and in-home care places would be funded for Australian families. http://kateellis.com.au/newsroom/573/
    19/10/2011 More Australian families to benefit from early childhood program Federal Child Care Minister Kate Ellis announced 23 locations will receive funding under the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY). HIPPY is a two-year home-based parenting and early childhood enrichment program that builds the confidence and skills of parents and carers to be their child’s first teacher. http://kateellis.com.au/newsroom/565/
    14/10/2011 Australia takes the next big step towards a national system for education and care services Federal Minister for Child Care Kate Ellis announced all State and Territory Governments have agreed upon Australia's first truly national regulatory system for early childhood education and care services. http://kateellis.com.au/newsroom/562/
    30/9/2011 Government delivering stability in the child care market The Family Assistance Amendment (Child Care Financial Viability) Bill 2011 was passed through Federal Parliament on 19 September. The Bill requires that large childcare providers (those with 25 centres or more) annually report to the Australian Government on their financial performance. http://kateellis.com.au/newsroom/552/
    12/8/2011 Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority The Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers announced the membership of the new Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) Board. As the new National Body, ACECQA will be a key driver of the national improvements in quality to early childhood education and care across Australia agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments in December 2009. http://acecqa.gov.au/acecqa-board-announced
    29/6/2011 The National Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce Census 2010 This census was undertaken by the Social Research Centre. Some of the key findings included that there are almost 140,000 people employed in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, of which 48.8 per cent are engaged in long day care services, such as Goodstart Early Learning centres. In addition, 88 per cent of respondents agreed they were satisfied with their current job, and two-thirds would recommend a career in the sector to others.
    24/6/2011 Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey The HILDA Survey was initiated, and is funded, by the Australian Government through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs. Responsibility for the design and management of the survey rests with the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (University of Melbourne). Among other things, the survey looks at levels of parenting stress amongst different family types, child care use and costs, and childhood poverty. 
    20/5/2011 Families in Australia 2011: Sticking together in good and tough times. The Australian Institute of Family Studies released its report on family structures and related issues. Some of the key findings included that as we have ageing population, the number of dependent children is decreasing. In addition, both mums and dads are working more and as a result are missing out on home and family activities. http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/factsheets/2011/fw2011/
    April 2011 Engaging Families in the Early Childhood Development Story This report on neuroscience and early childhood development was released as a result of a national project being conducted on behalf of the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs. The key findings confirm the case for investment in early childhood development. http://www.mceetya.edu.au/verve/_resources/ECD_Story-Final_project_report_of_Stage_1.pdf

    Early learning community groups

    • Early Childhood Australia: Early Childhood Australia (ECA) is a group that works actively to support workers in the early learning sector by providing educational resources. The website has a great deal of information for educators about the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Framework, and links to other useful resources.
    • United Voice: Early learning professionals are having their voices heard through the United Voice union. The union is dedicated to helping support and advocate for workers in the early childhood sector.
    • Australian Community Children’s Services (ACCS): ACCS advocates nationally for the right of Australia’s children to access quality, not-for-profit, community children’s services.
    • Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA): The ACA represents 70% of all commercial long day care services throughout Australia.
    • Community Childcare Association: Provides leadership to ensure all families have access to high quality community children’s services.