Families are where learning begins

Families are where learning begins. Babies and young children are naturally curious, responsive and eager to explore their surroundings. Families—in all their glorious diversity and ‘not quite perfection’—are where the young child starts this journey, a lifelong path outwards from self, towards mastery and understanding. First conversations and relationships, creativity, capacity to express joy, kindness, […]

When allergy awareness gets personal

There’s always more to learn as Dr Kate Highfield found out with a young baby showing signs that allergies or intolerances to food needed investigation and greater understanding.  It is Food Allergy Week (13–19 May) this week, and this year’s theme calls for Australians to ‘Be aware and show you care’. For me, after years as […]

The Gonski report—implications for early years teaching

Last week, the Federal Government released the Gonski Panel’s Through Growth to Achievement: Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. Well received by many in the education sector, some of the findings and recommendations are highly relevant to early childhood education. The government’s agenda on education has been clear for some […]

What planet are you on?

With days growing shorter and Earth Day and Nature Play Week behind us, a recent trip to the other side of the planet came to mind, where dark winter days and extreme weather showed how differently humans live with and in nature. The fog had cleared by the time we landed at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport […]

Young children’s reactions to stress

Infants and young children cannot always tell us that they are upset or explain what is worrying them. So it helps to know about the way they send messages, or their cues. These can be different for different children but there are some common ones to look out for. Changes in behaviour are often the […]

Worth celebrating: ECA 80 years strong in 2018

Saturday 17 March 2018 is a significant date for Early Childhood Australia (ECA), as it marks our 80th birthday. This time 80 years ago the state Kindergarten Unions and the Kindergarten Teachers’ College, Kew, met in Melbourne to discuss creating an executive body that would lobby and work with the ‘Federal Government on matters related […]

Child tooth decay is on the rise, but few are brushing their teeth enough or seeing the dentist

One-third of preschoolers have never seen a dentist and most parents believe children don’t need to see one before they’re three years old. Yet one-quarter of Australian children have tooth decay that requires filling by early primary school. One in ten require an extraction. Results released today from the latest Royal Children’s Hospital National Child Health […]

Seven things adults can say to a young girl instead of ‘I love your dress’

When ECA worked on the Start Early. Respectful relationships for life project, aimed at fostering relationship skills in very young children, educators commented on how often adults—educators, family, neighbours and friends—will comment on a girl’s dress when there are so many other things to talk about. Even with the best intentions, one educator said it […]

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