By CELA on 6 Apr, 2020

A Message from CELA’s CEO

During this challenging and uncertain time, we are advocating for our members around a wide variety of funding and viability measures. We are in regular contact with commonwealth and state ministers and government agencies, sharing your stories and advocating for your viability.

Supporting our community and small providers

We have maintained our commitment to being the voice of the community and small providers, all of whom are being hit very hard by COVID-19. Community and small providers carry a particularly heavy burden when it comes to finding their way through this complex situation, compared to large providers who may have access to teams who can advise them.

We want you to know that we are here for you and are happy to play the role of your support team. You are not alone – our team is briefed every morning on the latest COVID related ECEC information so that we can answer your queries via our 1800 number or email. At the end of every day, we debrief and identify emerging issues.

The phone calls and communications we have been receiving about your current situations have been invaluable, allowing us to use real-life situations and examples in our advocacy.

In the interest of being a source of truth, we share information with the sector only when details are known and avoid speculation which can be very damaging in times of crisis. Be sure to check your emails regularly for our COVID member news updates.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any concerns or questions and we will do our best to provide you with the information and support you need. We have a dedicated COVID team who can guide you through the complexities of available funding.

Advocacy update

The situation for early childhood education services has been changing day by day. Our latest issue of Broadside provides members with detailed information on what CELA has been advocating for, what support we have gained, and the further support our sector needs, including:

  • Viability funding
  • Workforce security
  • Vulnerable children
  • Supply chain issues
  • Staff safety
  • Implementation of social distancing
  • Mental health

Members can download Broadside via the member resource hub.

CELA’s professional development now available online

In the interest of maintaining learning and development opportunities, we have developed a new calendar of training sessions delivered in webinar format.

Delivered in a variety of 2- 3 hour sessions or 2 part series, our online learning has been designed to provide information you need to know now, inspire ideas and further develop professional practice and build Teacher Accreditation hours.

We have developed new sessions to enable Nominated Supervisors and Approved Providers to navigate their responsibilities in relation to COVID-19, as well as training to support the wellbeing of early education professionals during this uncertain period.

We have also taken many of our popular courses and designed them to enable your continued learning.

Sessions include:

  • Under the Volcano
  • Becoming the Approved Provider
  • Introduction to Play Theory
  • Programming

With reduced attendance across all service types, it is likely that many educators may not be required to physically work at the service or may do so on a rotational basis. A number of educators may have health matters that prevent them from attending work. In the event of a prolonged forced closure, whole teams may be working from home. Irrespective of the reason, productivity can be maintained through this new online learning series.

Our new sessions on Nominated Supervisor Leadership and Uncertainty and Wellbeing (with Sarah Moore) have proven to be particularly relevant to our members.

You can view the full online training schedule here.

The CELA team is now working remotely

In the blink of an eye, we have moved our entire team to remote working, and we are now set up in our own homes, connected by screens instead of desks, sharing your stories and questions via Microsoft Teams and GotoMeeting. We have also been optimising our use of Trello, a collaboration tool which we use for project management.

It has been a pretty seamless transition for our team and we are happy to provide suggestions for how you can facilitate your own team’s transition for anyone who needs to isolate or work from home due to decreased attendance.

Find out more about remote working in two of our most recent Amplify! Articles:

Our sector is experiencing significant stress as a result of so many demands. We feel the pressure because we deeply care. We care about our children, families and each other. As a valued member of CELA, what you need to do right now is stay connected, so as we can help you through. In addition stay focussed on your service, how you are going to manage enrolments and attendance in the interest of children and educators and how the available funding mechanisms will support your viability and the continuation of your service.

Michele Carnegie CEO

Community, connection, trust, patience, determination, care and kindness.

These are the things to hold close as we move forward together step by step, through the COVID crisis.

About CELA

Community Early Learning Australia is a not for profit organisation with a focus on amplifying the value of early learning for every child across Australia - representing our members and uniting our sector as a force for quality education and care.

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