Category Archives: Early years of school

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 […]

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 […]

What’s love got to do with it?

‘Half way down the stairs is a stair where I sit There isn’t any other stair quite like it. I’m not at the bottom; I’m not at the top So this is the stair where I always stop’ (Milne, 1932, p147). There are approximately 194 900 early learning staff currently employed across Australia, with long […]

Play-based learning can set your child up for success at school and beyond

As the new school year begins, many families are deciding where to enrol their child in preschool or school. Preschools and schools offer various approaches to early education, all promoting the benefits of their particular programs. One approach gaining momentum in the early years of primary school curriculum is play-based learning. Research shows play-based learning enhances children’s […]

Live and learn: living spaces

As summer heat drives us inside we revisit concepts from an ECA Research in Practice Series, Living Spaces—Indoor learning environments written by Luke Touhill. Young children’s play is so much deeper than the ‘game’ visible to adults or the equipment that sets up the play experience. The spaces children and adults live and move through shape their […]

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