By CELA 21 Feb, 2022

Setting up an open playroom - why it's not about the 'things'

Have you heard about the concept of an open playroom and wondered how to get started? 

We spoke to Ruth Harper, Education Lead at East West Childcare and Kindergarten in Fitzroy, to find out about her view on open playrooms, and how her service has adapted to a more flexible approach over the past 5 years in order to empower children to make as many decisions for themselves as possible. 

By CELA 15 Feb, 2022

What our survey says: The impact of Omicron on long day care

Last week CELA launched a Pulse Check (a brief online survey) of long day care services, in order to find out how Omicron is affecting their service, teams and families. 

The survey asked about how the outbreak has affected enrolments, attendance, operations and staffing, what the current situation is with regard to staff vacancies, as well as seeking opinions  around RAT testing and how the outbreak is affecting team fatigue. The results will be used to inform our advocacy around these matters.

This week we share a topline summary of the results and make a plea to Government to address the ever present workforce issues that have only been exacerbated over the past two years. 

By Renee Irving-Lee 14 Feb, 2022

Is stranger danger still a concern? Where to put our focus when it comes to child protection

Every day, the safety and wellbeing of many children across Australia is threatened by child abuse and neglect. The evidence clearly shows that children are more likely to be abused by someone they know, rather than a stranger, which has led to discussions around stranger danger talks being outdated.

As educators, we play a vital role in the education and intervention of child abuse. So, should we still be talking about stranger danger? Or should we be focusing more on people within their family and social groups?

Award winning teacher and children's author Renee Irving-Lee shares her thoughts on the topic. 
 

By CELA 4 Feb, 2022

Australia-first STEM hub launched at Sydney preschool

CELA member Rise & Shine Kindergarten recently launched an exciting new initiative called the Orbit-Centre of Imagination, a children’s interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) hub located behind their Summer Hill service in Sydney.

Children can explore ten exciting areas which include a 3D printer, microscope, discovery centre, lego zone and interactive sand box.  

We spoke with Curriculum Practice Manager Debbie Andriopoulos to find out more about the hub, which incorporates the principles of inquiry based learning and has been developed in conjunction with STEM PD provider Little Scientists. 

By Renee Irving-Lee 4 Feb, 2022

But that's not fair... helping children to understand the difference between fairness and equality

Educators and parents usually cringe when a child shouts out the phrase “but that’s not fair!”

What is it about those words that really get on our nerves?

We tend to assume that the child is being overly dramatic, petty, or unreasonable. But fairness is a challenging concept for even adults to understand, so it's no wonder that young children struggle to cope when things don’t seem to be going their way.

Author and award winning teacher Renee Irving Lee explores the topic.

By Michelle Cuthbertson 31 Jan, 2022

The power of secure attachment relationships

Secure attachment relationships are vital to child development, but they take time and commitment. As we continue to face challenges due to the pandemic and extreme weather events, forming secure attachments becomes more important than ever. 

Relationships expert and CELA Circle of Security™ facilitator Michelle Cuthbertson shares the importance of educators as attachment figures, how attachment can support learning outcomes, and how we can reflect on behaviour through the attachment lens. 

By Deborah Hoger 21 Jan, 2022

How incorporating Indigenous place names can strengthen community connections and promote reconciliation

Towards the end of 2021, it was announcd that the world's largest sand island is returning to its First Nations name; Fraser Island will now be known as K'gari. The local Butchulla people and indeed many Australians across the country celebrated this significant name-change, which sees Fraser Island renamed to a word meaning ‘paradise’ in the Butchulla language. Local people had been campaigning for this name change for many years.

Regular CELA writer and Indigenous early education resource specialist Deborah Hoger shares why using Indigenous place names can help reconciliation and healing, and how you can initiate this in an ECEC setting. 

By Mandy Limb 11 Jan, 2022

Why cable drums are loose parts gold mines, plus other loose parts inspiration from Coonara ELC

There are many benefits to loose parts play including the development of fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, vocabulary building, practicing concentration and applying mathematical and scientific thinking. Combine those benefits with the budget-friendly concept of upcycling and you have the perfect match for an early education setting. 

Mandy Limb of Coonara ELC shares why her centre is passionate about loose parts, and inspires us with a plethora of imaginative uses for the wonderfully versatile cable drum. 

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