From signing to ‘sensory’: can trendy baby classes really boost a child’s development?

Parent and baby classes are increasingly popular, and the choice greater than ever. These days you can even take newborns on courses ranging from massage, yoga, music and swimming, to “signing” (teaching babies simple gestures to communicate needs), and “sensory” (letting babies explore different textures, sights, sounds and so on). Many of these courses promise […]

How do children decide what’s fair?

Should a teacher reward a whole class for the good deeds of one student? What about the other side of the discipline picture: should a whole class be punished for the misdeeds of just a few students? As adults, we care a lot about whether people receive their fair share of benefits, and whether those […]

Three reasons why we need a new Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Australian Government’s Child Care Package has raised old tensions between the twin objectives of early childhood education and care – parent’s workforce participation and child development. For the first time, children may not be able to access child care subsidies if one of their parents is not undertaking work or another eligible activity. Modelling by the […]

How do children learn to form social bonds?

Toddlers may be ever so adorable but they can also be frustratingly poor at listening and respecting other people’s feelings. So how are they able to grow into social butterflies a decade or two later, often capable of extraordinary friendship, loyalty and perceptiveness? While social development is a long process that lasts into our teens, […]

Starting early to end family violence

How does a child develop from an inquiring, kind pre-schooler to someone who, 20 years later, is violent to a person they love? This is the question underneath theStart Early. Respectful relationships for life initiative. We are not alone in asking the question. Educators and others across the community ask the same thing. The statistics […]

Parents have the biggest influence over their child’s language and emotional development

How is it that in a country as prosperous as Australia, one in five children are developmentally at risk by the time they start school? What’s more, the problem is twice as great for disadvantaged groups. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds have a greater risk of poor health, social, emotional, cognitive and language problems that affect […]

Being Equitable Does Not Mean We All Get the Same Thing

I spent December and January travelling through Europe. Being tuned to all things early childhood I made the following observations: Peppa Pig is annoying in any language. Noise cancelling headphones on a plane don’t cancel out everything Nutella crepes do taste better and are better for you, if made in France The last flight out […]

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