All posts by Chris Steel

csteel@earlychildhood.org.au'
Chris Steel BA, LLB (ANU) is Policy and Research Manager at Early Childhood Australia. Before coming to ECA, Chris worked as a policy adviser on early childhood and youth to the Australian Government and ACT Government covering the implementation of the National Quality Agenda and Government Child Care Assistance. Chris is currently a Director on the Board of YMCA Canberra.

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 […]

Children are not sponges

You’ve heard it a million times before. “Children are like sponges. They just soak up every drop of information.” And to personify this sponge simile there’s even a popular Nickelodeon character called Sponge Bob Square Pants;  a vapid sea sponge that spouts inane jabberwocky. Recent social research shows that the sponge or ‘fill it up’ theory […]

NAPLAN underscores the importance of early learning

Last week the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) 2015 results were released by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). ACARA said “While the results show some improvements nationally and in each state and territory (for some year levels and some domains), the overall message is one of stable national achievement.” […]

Are you using the AEDC data to inform your QIP?

Every three years data is collected on children’s development in their first year of school. This is called the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC). This year a new data collection is taking place, providing an up-to-date snapshot of children’s progress against five key areas, or domains, of child development: physical health and wellbeing social competence […]

Free play or group teaching? The rise of Chinese kindergartens

Research in focus There is now huge demand for kindergarten education in China, with up to 60% of Chinese children currently accessing 150,420 kindergartens. (Hu, Leong & Li, 2015 p.4). These kindergartens mainly serve affluent families in urban areas, while lower socioeconomic communities are serviced by poorer quality, private services. To improve equity in access, the Chinese […]

A little known way to make your service more flexible, and improve quality

The concept of flexibility is far broader than just extending opening hours.Thinking about flexibility also means reflecting on how the needs of children and families are being met holistically. Children’s  and their family’s needs are much broader than early childhood education and care (ECEC). Early childhood services can support families in their parenting role by […]

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