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The essential early and middle childhood education and care story.

We're telling it louder, we're sharing it wider, and we're making your voice stronger

Safe bush kinder programs

Does ‘safe’ bush kinder lose meaning?

Amplify has often explored ways of thinking about outdoor education, with stories like this one on excursions, this one on nature and anxiety, and this one on children’s attitudes, among our most-read. We’ve also carried many reflections and provocations that point out the elephant in the room: trendy approaches that could do with deeper consideration, […]

Did you miss it? Top five from 2018

Welcome back to Amplify in 2019. We’re starting the year in traditional style, looking forward and back. Looking ahead, there’s a story tapping into the New Year resolutions many of you are making to improve your own and the children’s physical activity and guess what? Research is saying that improving educator and parent activity is […]

Get real about physical activity in early learning

Happy new year! We’re resuming publication with a story that is probably close to your heart right now: what makes an exercise or physical activity program really ‘stick’ so it goes beyond a new year’s resolution and becomes a daily part of your life. In this case, we’re talking about children’s programs and Amplify editor […]

Amplify article by Bec Lloyd

The problem with mud kitchens is…

Nobody else but the rosebush knows How nice mud feels Between the toes. From the short poem Mud, by Polly Chase Boyden Mud, mud, glorious mud, goes the old music hall song*, and mud play in mud kitchens has become a standard feature of many early childhood services. ACECQA’s document for the Early Years Learning […]

No way will a snow day stop the play

  ‘Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!’ (Norwegian saying: There is no bad weather only bad clothes) Baby, it’s cold outside, so we’re playing indoors until spring is sprung, right? Why would you risk colds and flus, grizzly children, wet clothing, and perhaps anxious educators and unhappy parents? We might love those images […]

With a leap in his OSHC service's senior student numbers this year, Darren Brisbane's team had to get creative.

The importance of playing up

Darren Brisbane returns to Amplify with another practical, thoughtful post addressing a major pain-point in outside school hours care (OSHC): how do you keep senior students occupied? With a leap in his service’s senior student numbers this year, Darren’s team had to get creative. 2018 has been an interesting year for Sherpa Kids St Paul’s. […]

Danielle Layton and children

Spotlight on a sea change director: Danielle Layton, Byron Bay

Do you daydream about your ideal work and home location? Have you already made a sea change or tree change, or moved from the country to a city life?  This week we share an interview with Danielle Layton, and hear the outcome of her move to Australia’s easternmost town: Byron Bay. Use the blog comments […]

Outdoors and blossoming: transferring pedagogy between contexts

May Murray’s story In recent times, outdoor classrooms have been in vogue. They are seen as innovative and creative: they connect children to nature and allow educators to extend their pedagogy and look “outside the box” of intentional and play based learning. Research by advocates of outdoor learning espouse the benefits of risky play, exposure […]

Barista coffee is not a benchmark of ECE quality

On behalf of children, I object. Dr Deborah Harcourt talks marketing and learning spaces

Dr Deborah Harcourt questions children’s services about what ‘state of the art’ really means, and rejects access to a coffee barista as a benchmark of quality.
“Early childhood contexts for young children, in my view, should be spaces that offer an opportunity to engage in an ‘internship’ with the real world – with access to rich and authentic relationships with people, places and things as the basis of their construction of new knowledge and ideas.” Read on…

Westgarth bush kinder

Lighting a fire. The risk at play debate

As autumn weather arrives, many ECE and OSHC services will be looking to head outdoors to take advantage of the not-too-hot, not-too-cold season. How they approach the outdoors, however, is another question. Risk during play in early childhood services is a balance between keeping children as as safe as necessary rather than possible. Westgarth Kindergarten […]

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