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A new study of Warlpiri language shows how ‘baby talk’ helps [children] learn to speak

Parents and other caregivers typically modify their speech when they talk to babies and young children.  They use simple sentences and special words, like “nana” for banana. They also speak slowly, use a higher pitch, and exaggerate the ups and downs of the “tune” of their speech. In many languages, caregivers also exaggerate their vowels in a […]

Early childhood educators are leaving in droves. Here are 3 ways to ensure Australia has enough

Childcare centres across Australia are suffering staff shortages, which have been exacerbated by the COVID crisis. Many childcare workers across Australia left when parents started pulling their children out of childcare due to the pandemic, especially casuals not eligible for JobKeeper. And when the federal government introduced its temporary free childcare package, centres struggled to get the […]

Birthdays, holidays, Christmas without mum or dad: how to support kids with a parent away fighting fires

Among the sacrifices made by firefighters, and those who support fire-affected communities, is precious time spent with family. In California, thousands of firefighters and community support workers or volunteers have missed important moments such as birthdays, school events or family gatherings. In Australia, where bushfire season includes December-January, thousands routinely miss out on Christmas, New Year’s Eve […]

In 20 years of award-winning picture books, non-white people made up just 12% of main characters

Have you considered the diversity of books in your early childhood service and explored the messages the books present? Work by Associate Professor Helen Caple and Dr Ping Tian highlight this (in the blog below). Their analysis of award-winning children’s books in Australia found a staggering representational dominance–over the last 20 years non-white people made up […]

Preschool benefits children and the economy. But the budget has left funding uncertain, again

During the COVID-19 crisis phase, all eyes have been on childcare, but preschool is an equally important driver of well-being and economic security for children and parents—and of economic productivity. Research has found for every dollar invested in preschool, Australia receives two dollars back over the course of a child’s life. Preschool is jointly funded by the federal, and […]

Tackling difficult conversations

As Black Lives Matter protests have swept across the world, many of us are motivated to learn more about racism, and talk to our students and children in ways that can facilitate change. Education is a powerful tool for creating change. So, it’s important teachers don’t shy away from difficult conversations in the classroom, even if […]

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