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. 

By CELA 14 Dec, 2021

The impact of Mandatory Vaccination on our workforce — what you told us and what needs to be implemented to support our sector

Shortly after November 8, CELA ran a survey to gain insight into the impact of the mandatory vaccination Public Health Order on the ECEC workforce and service provision. The survey was circulated amongst our members and on social media, and provided some valuable insights which have helped our advocacy around building and sustaining a high-quality workforce. 

In this article we share key findings from the survey, how the results compare with other available data, and what needs to be done to support the workforce moving forward. 

By Stephanie Seidler 3 Dec, 2021

From bubbles to bears and cats to coffee — the endless value of emergent curriculum

Stephanie Seidler is an experienced early educator and published author who is passionate about promoting meaningful educational experiences for children. Based in New York, she is an advocate of using emergent curriculum as part of a responsive intentional teaching process, and loves to share tools, tips and ideas on her Facebook page. 

Stephanie recently published a book called Bubble Babies, celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and connection building for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Bubbles have been a favourite interest for so many of the children she’s educated over the years. 

In this article she shares the benefits of emergent curriculum, tips on planning and scaffolding ideas using bubbles as the example, and how a very ‘NYC’ interest in coffee amongst children who’d never tasted it led to an investigation that went on for half a year!

By CELA 29 Nov, 2021

Discussing disability and inclusion — how toys can build empathy and open-mindedness

Once upon a time disability was a taboo topic. Today, awareness of disability is on the rise through events such as International Day of People with Disability (3 December) and the growing acknowledgement of disability in the community.

Many early educators are embracing the opportunity to open the discussion around disability and inclusion with children. We speak with Leanne Fretten of all-abilities childcare centre Mikarie about their child-first approach, ask author of 'What happened to you?' James Catchpole about avoiding the 'inspiration trope', and share how toys and resources such as dolls and books can promote empathy and open-mindedness. 

By CELA 29 Nov, 2021

Increased turnover and a need for targeted funding - new workforce report reveals challenges and solutions

A new report has been released examining ECEC workforce pressures which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, their impact on ECEC services, and possible ways forward for the sector. 

Written by CELA (Community Early Learning Australia), ELAA (Early Learning Association Australia) and CCC (Community Child Care Association), the report is based on findings from almost 750 respondents representing over 3,300 early education and care services across a wide range of service types. The report will be used to advocate for our workforce at both Federal and State levels of Government.

The report reveals that staff turnover has increased in 50% of services surveyed since the start of the pandemic, while nearly half of job vacancies in ECEC services remain unfilled. Services reported that poor pay and conditions contributed to a lack of applicants, while a lack of quality graduates contributed to jobs remaining vacant. 

By CELA 23 Nov, 2021

Are you prepared for a COVID closure? Learn from a CELA member's experience

We are currently seeing around 5-10 NSW early childhood services impacted by positive COVID cases per day. Of the services directed to close, many are directed to remain closed for between one to two weeks. Since the start of the Delta outbreak in June 2021, over 800 NSW services have been impacted by a positive case. 

Given 14 per cent of ECEC services in NSW have been impacted by temporary closure due to COVID-19, and children aged 0-4 cannot be vaccinated, it is reasonable to expect that it’s not a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’ COVID-19 will impact your service.   

CELA research and policy consultant Felicity Dunn shares how a COVID case impacted a CELA member service, and what you can do to prepare for a COVID case or close contact at your service in order to optimise communications and minimise operational and financial challenges.  

Guild Insurance

CELA’s insurer of choice. Protecting Australian businesses and individuals with tailored insurance products and caring personal service.