Chairs and tables – what’s the point?

Following is a rant about a topic about which I have strong views: chairs and tables. Please understand that it’s a ‘for-what-it’s-worth’ rant that I hope will provoke discussion and debate. I don’t care if they do it at Reggio Emilia and in some of our most impressively furnished early education and care services. It […]

Facts not fear-mongering

Early Childhood social media ran hot last week about mobile devices and whether they should be banned for children under 12 years of age. Articles were posted and counter posted citing arguments for and against. Some articles are big on generalisations and alarm but small on important details and logic. Claims that ‘technology restricts movement’ for […]

‘Child care’, like car parks

Watching a segment on ABC’s 7:30 Report on Tuesday night (September 30), I waited in vain to hear someone talk about the importance and cost of quality. The messages were only about the shortage and cost of ‘child care’ places as impediments to women re-entering the workforce and the damaging effect on the nation’s economy. […]

Tinkering and tailoring with Technology Speed Dating

People are once again tinkering ‘like the old ham radio enthusiasts’ according to an English expert. And lots of tinkering was evident at the Technology Speed Dating Hub during ECA’s September national conference. More than 300 people wandered through the Hub, at first looking, then lingering and many, loving the interaction with digital tools, apps and other educators. UK professor of radio […]

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 […]

No more passion!

At the recent Early Childhood Australia conference the terms passion and passionate were used repeatedly. People outside the profession used them, at times patronisingly, to describe educators and their work. Educators described themselves as passionate about children and their work. My online dictionary defines passion as ‘strong and barely controllable emotion; a state or outburst […]

Bespoke practice

‘We encourage educators to think about what they are doing and why, and to talk about their questions and ideas with each other. We promote innovation and creativity – not change for its own sake, but reasonable risk taking and having a go at making things better. We have worked for a long time to […]

What’s in a Hub

At the Tech Speed Dating Hub later this week, host Dan Donahoo, and Digital Business Kit’s Clare McHugh, look forward to talking with all-comers about technology for early childhood. Some great sessions and presenters are planned but there’s also room to drop by. Lunchtimes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday if you’re at the ECA Conference will […]

Seven tips on flexible hours you may not know

When opening hours and the needs of families align, this can support parents’ workforce participation and support children’s best interests. Only 0.8% of long day care centres open after 6:30pm according to ECA’s Long Day Care Flexibility Survey Report. Yet, most approved early childhood services actually have considerable discretion to open earlier or close later. According to […]

Touching the hem of greatness (not)

I had a familiar sense of anticipation recently as I started to look at the program for the Melbourne Writer’s Festival. What wonderful opportunities were on offer to be in the presence of icons, idols and personages! It reminded me of a lesson I learned, or should have learned, a long time ago. I say […]

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