ELAA in partnership with VIC Roads and Victorian Transport Accident Commission has created a new online resource to help parents and carers keep children safe in cars. Find out more here and watch the full video here.
Registrations are now open for the 2017 Early Childhood Education Conference – together we grow the child in focus.
This year’s Early Childhood Education Conference is the biggest yet with 74 speaker sessions on offer. With a theme of the child in focus some of the many highlights include:
- Professor Ted Melhuish – Keynote address re Early childhood experience and its impact on children’s educational and socio-emotional development through to adulthood.
- Bruce Hurst – Development isn’t something that just happens. It is also something you do. (Children’s development and the importance of age in children’s identities).
- Georgie Meyer and Alex Price – Five hundred children and one museum. (The creation of the new Melbourne Museum Children’s Gallery).
- Heather Barnes – STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics): supporting teaching, environments and motivation.
- Stacey Fox (Mitchell Institute) – What policies do we need to make sure every child has the opportunity to be a confident and engaged learner?
… and many more high quality presentations from early learning professionals.
This report seeks to renew Victoria’s interest and determination to improve school and student engagement in Victoria. This report showcases positive practice examples of engaging schools, documenting the ways which leading schools engage children and young people. Our purpose is to share these experiences with all schools, families, government agencies and community organisations, so all children and young people can be engaged in their learning. The report identifies principles of good practice every school might adopt – along with system changes and assistance required from government for all Victorian children and young people to stay engaged at school. This report was prepared by an alliance of community sector organisations including the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS), Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (CFECFW), Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic), Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) and Hume Whittlesea Local Learning and Employment Network (HWLLEN).
The Early Learning Review recently published a piece looking back on the early learning sector in 2016 and forward to next year. The article included the views of sector leaders’ (including ELAA CEO – Shane Lucas) on the key issues for the sector in 2017.
ELAA has joined 20 other early learning sector organisations in writing to Greens and cross-bench Senators urging them to support an amended version of the Federal Government’sJobs for Familieschild care assistance package.
The letters underline cross-sectoral support for many aspects of the proposed child care assistance package, including:
- increased investment in early learning
- streamlining of current subsidies (Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate)
- child Care Safety Net programs for children with additional needs.
However, the sector is also calling for amendments to the package to better reflect the benefits for children of quality early learning:
- an increased base entitlement of subsidised hours and a raised income threshold for the base entitlement
- an increased base entitlement to subsidised hours specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and a specialised program to support otherwise unviable services
- activity test and subsidy approval processes that are flexible to accommodate the needs of families.
The letters also state that the package should not be conditional on the Government making savings from proposed cuts to Family Tax Benefits that would adversely impact disadvantaged families.
The Jobs for Families legislation was reintroduced to Parliament in September and is expected to be before the Senate very soon.
ELAA has received the attached response from Minister Birmingham in response to our letter of 29 November regarding the future of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education beyond the current agreement’s expiry on 31 December 2017. The Minister has also requested that we share his response with all those members and supporters who have signed our petition to Keep funding 15 hours .
We will be looking to meet with the Minister early in the New Year to discuss this important issue further.
While we are delighted that the Minister reiterates the Turnbull Government’s commitment to ensuring that all children have access to quality early learning and care, we are concerned that the Commonwealth contribution to preschool funding through the National Partnership Agreement is described as having only ever been a “top-up” contribution. This is not ELAA’s view. We regard this funding as both critical to ensuring 15 hours of quality early learning for every child in the year before school, and an important demonstration of the shared commitment by all Australian Governments to the longer-term economic and social benefits of investment in early learning.
Shane Lucas, CEO