By Mandy Limb 15 Nov, 2021

How four little cameras helped facilitate greater connections with children and families

Partnerships with families are an important focus of the Early Years Learning Framework. Good partnerships and relationships can build belonging and inclusion, and contribute to a child’s wellbeing. 

As a result of lockdowns and tight restrictions on parents and carers visiting services, it has become more challenging to build partnerships and relationships with families. Earlier this year, the team at Coonara Early Learning Centre decided to purchase a set of take-home cameras affectionately known as Cheese, Pixel, Flash and Smiley as a way to get to know children and families better, and connect home to their centre. Director Mandy Limb shares details of the project, and what was learnt by children, families and educators along the way.  

By CELA 4 Nov, 2021

Do you have the right recipe for COVID safe, child focused end of year celebrations?

There's such a lot to think about as we plan for end of year celebrations this year. How do we 'celebrate’ a year that has been so challenging for so many? How can we make our celebrations COVID safe and inclusive for families who are uncomfortable with being back in the community? And how can we ensure that festivities are child centred, rather than focusing on ‘photo worthy’ moments for parents and carers?  

We take a look at how end of year celebrations can be child focused and COVID safe while also including families, and how one service ditched the traditional graduation ceremony for individual celebrations that make the children feel like royalty. 

By CELA 2 Nov, 2021

We need a national ECEC strategy to protect young children from COVID

Experts are calling for a national strategy to protect children aged 0-4 from COVID-19. The Mitchell Institute last week released a report examining the risks of COVID-19 to young children, the risk of children transmitting the virus, and the strategies ECEC needs to implement to reduce the risk of transmission. 

We take you through important points from the report, what the Mitchell Institute recommends for mitigating the risk of transmission in ECEC settings, and why Australia needs to rethink how it funds and delivers ECEC services, to ensure that this essential service is never again under threat. 

By CELA 22 Oct, 2021

How to honour cultural occasions respectfully, plus a reflection on a vibrant Diwali celebration

There are so many fantastic festivals and occasions to celebrate with children. How can we decide which celebrations to focus on, and ensure they are celebrated in a respectful way? 

CELA Early Education Specialist Jennifer Moglia shares how we can choose and plan celebrations respectfully, while Educator Anuradha Kaushik shares her experience celebrating Diwali, which occurs this year on 4 November.

By CELA 15 Oct, 2021

Key takeouts from the ACECQA workforce strategy

ACECQA has released Shaping our Future – a ten year strategy to ensure a sustainable, high quality children’s education and care workforce 2022-2031. This report is the culmination of a series of roundtables and consultation with the sector over the past year, initiated by State, Territory and Federal Governments as part of the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration. 

The ACECQA Workforce Strategy Report highlights the workforce challenges the sector faces and proposes 21 actions to address them over the next ten years. We share key takeouts and what we are advocating for as the findings are implemented. 

By CELA 7 Oct, 2021

A role model for leadership and inclusion — what we can learn from Karen Roberts

CELA member Karen Roberts, Manager for Children’s Services at City of Canterbury Bankstown, recently won a HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care award for Individual Leadership. In her 45-year education career she has encountered many challenges, but these have only served to clarify her vision as a leader and a champion for children's rights. 

We find out what drives Karen, what we can learn from her experience, and how she will use the HESTA award money for future initiatives to benefit local children and leave a long-lasting social impact on the community.

By CELA 1 Oct, 2021

Why ventilation is vital — CELA's advocacy plus OzSAGE experts answer our questions

With the announcement of a return to early education and care from 18 October, ventilation should be on every service's COVID safe plan. Occupational hygienist Kate Cole and built environments expert Adjunct Professor Geoff Hanmer of high profile science group OzSAGE provide clarity around important questions pertaining to ventilation and air quality in our sector while we await a response to questions we have raised about the matter with government. 

By Niki Moodie 24 Sep, 2021

Why play is an effective way to support child development and learning

During times of crisis, the ability to play becomes more important than ever.  It can be incredibly therapeutic for children to explore their feelings, concerns and worries through play – and can help children to find a sense of joy and normality again. It’s also the best way for young children to learn.

Play is a central part to our Early Years Learning Framework, and is recognised by the United Nations as every child’s right. ECT and preschool Room Leader Niki Moodie reflects on why play is so important in the early years, and the role of the teacher in play. 

By CELA 20 Sep, 2021

Considerations for keeping safe as we navigate out of lockdown

The NSW government has announced a staggered return to school in NSW starting October 25. There’s currently no guidance on when the government will recommend that all children will return to ECEC settings.

As we head towards vaccination targets and reopening dates (which some news outlets are referring to somewhat recklessly as ‘freedom day’), we need to accept that COVID is not going away. Our new ‘freedom’ will come with many new and heightened responsibilities. 

We explore the latest transmission data, and how services can keep staff and children as safe as possible as children start to return to early education and care.

By Karla Wintle 17 Sep, 2021

Active citizens with extraordinary ideas - positioning children as equal partners in pedagogical decisions

Pedagogical Leader Karla Wintle reflects on the importance of empowering children to have a voice on pedagogical decisions in an early education setting, and how the consideration of shifting power led to the creation of a children’s council at her service. 

“If we genuinely want to know what children think, feel and wonder, then the balance of power needs to shift. We must believe that children will have things to tell us that we have not heard before; the ability to listen, pause and wait for a surprise or a wonderful new idea.”
Karla Wintle

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