Working out what makes a good community where young children can thrive

The international research is clear. Stimulating and positive environments early in life provide optimal foundations for children’s ongoing development into adulthood. This in turn makes a difference to the productivity of society at large. Communities are important environments in which young children grow and develop. There is limited research, however, on how communities can best […]

Children’s literature as a gateway to reading

Children’s lives are enriched by literature. Picture books support children’s understanding of the thoughts, feelings and motivations of other people, and teach them new facts about their world, which plays an important role in their linguistic, social, emotional and intellectual development. Educators and parents/carers support children’s learning by engaging in rich and interesting book-focused conversations […]

Mud play—yes please

As more and more early childhood services understand the need for young children to engage with nature and natural environments, many services are introducing ‘mud play’ to their curriculum. We only need to watch children after a heavy shower of rain to see their delight in the puddle on the grass where ‘mud making’ often […]

Not waving, drowning

Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television and cinema) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life. This blog explains why those nearby often miss vital signs that a child or adult is drowning within reach. Read on for more information on Royal […]

The mindful educator

‘Just by becoming aware of what is occurring within and around us, we can begin to untangle ourselves from mental preoccupations and difficult emotions’ (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009). The practice of being ‘mindful’ is a 2500-year-old Buddhist tradition that calls for one to be aware and present in the way that one experiences and […]

Communicating family diversity and celebrations

There are strong messages in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) that point to the significance of developing trusting partnerships with families and respecting family diversity. These are listed under ‘Principles’. Trust and respect are the hallmarks of all good relationships and looking to the EYLF for guidance about how to enact that trust and […]

Children’s wellbeing goes hand in hand with their fathers’ mental health

The partnership between educators and families for the child’s development is at the core of early childhood practice. That’s why it’s so important that we understand how mothers and fathers are doing when it comes to mental health. Emerging evidence shows that supporting fathers’ mental health early in their parenting journey has positive effects on children […]

Themes vs projects: Spot the difference

In this blog, KATE HODGEKISS weighs the benefits of project over thematic approaches to young children’s learning and the interplay between children’s interests and the educator’s intentional thinking and scaffolding. In early childhood, our trends of pedagogical practices change and evolve as we continue building research into child development and learning processes. In past years […]

Never been a better time to Be You

More than a million children attend one of Australia’s 15 500 early education services every year. They deserve responsive, skilled guidance through those critical early years and especially as difficulties or vulnerabilities emerge. One in five children enters school with at least one developmental vulnerability (AEDC, n.d.). Knowing that one in seven children between the […]

Children’s right to play

‘No-one is born a good citizen’ said Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General. But children are born with rights. This blog explores children’s rights and how they are identified in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children’s rights to rest, leisure, recreation and play appropriate to their age, are recognised under Article […]

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