Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bilingual children lag behind in language learning early on, but catch up by age five

word cards

Given the increasing number of non-English speaking families in the UK, concern has increased over the impact that growing up in a bilingual or non-English speaking home environment may have on children’s performance and readiness for school. So are bilingual children at an educational disadvantage when starting school compared to their classmates who speak just […]

What’s the Problem with Time-Out, Anyway?

Lately, it seems parents and carers feel disempowered. We’re not supposed to smack, and now even time-out is being questioned.  So how do we discipline?  And what’s wrong with time-out, anyway? Discipline (the verb) can mean either ‘to teach’, or ‘to control’ (Gordon, T. 1989).  If we use discipline to control children, then we rely […]

Does it matter if ‘E’ is for education or entertainment?

Apps are earning billions for their makers and promoters. Parents wonder which ones are best. Research at Swinburne’s BabyLab in Australia and five North American universities, might have some answers. Is it ‘educational’ or entertaining? It’s a common cry from parents and educators. What to choose from among the hundreds of so-called educational apps on […]

Developing shared understandings about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ connection to land

During NAIDOC week (5 to 12 July 2015) many early childhood services have acknowledged and celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. I encourage all Early Childhood Services to reflect on the week, and particularly how culture can be embedded beyond the week’s activities. I was cynically disappointed that a small minority of educational services […]

You need to use your words!

Does this ring a bell? As early childhood educators, we support children’s ability ‘to use their words’ – when we model the words to use to join in with play, to share ideas in small and large group conversations, to express feelings and to resolve peer disputes. However, how often do we intentionally encourage children […]

Are we honouring time to develop cultural competence?

Anne Stonehouse succinctly described cultural competence as ‘about attitudes and approaches to people than it is about facts’.  I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. I recently conducted interviews with a number of early years educators around their understandings and perspectives of cultural competence as  identified in the Early Years Learning Framework:  The journey for educators: […]

Nanny pilot doesn’t have to be bad news for childcare workers

UNSW Australia A lot of the response to the government’s proposed A$246 million “nanny pilot” has focused on why public funding shouldn’t be used to support unqualified caregivers or educators – particularly when educators in mainstream services such as Long Day Care are underpaid. I agree 100% that educators should meet minimum qualifications – regardless […]

5 career kickstarters for mum

If you have been out of the workforce on maternity leave or taking some time out to nurture your little ones then maybe it’s time for a career kickstarter for mum? Sometimes two weeks in an organisation can mean they have rearranged the seating or reclassified your role and if you have been out of […]

Forget ‘no jab, no pay’ schemes, there are better ways to boost vaccination

Immunisation in Australia isn’t compulsory – and doesn’t need to be controversial. Most Australians recognise the incredible benefits that vaccination provides to prevent serious disease; we have high and stable coverage rates of around 93%. Getting childhood immunisation to the 95% target rate would be even better, providing more individual protection and “community immunity”. However, […]

Supporting young children’s rights: statement of intent

On 31 March 2015, Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, and Early Childhood Australia’s CEO, Sam Page, will jointly launch a statement of intent on supporting young children’s rights. This collaboratively developed document provides all professionals and services working with young children with a framework to be a clear and credible voice advocating in […]

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