How to celebrate Early Learning Matters Week
How to celebrate Early Learning Matters Week
Early learning matters deeply to all of us, and whether your child is enrolled in their early childhood education and care (ECEC) service for long days or short sessions, this time with quality educators, engaging resources, fun facilities and friendly peers is invaluable.
To celebrate the importance of education for under fives, Early Learning Matters Week is held annually, and this year, it’s running this week from 26 to 30 July.
To learn more about the Week, and see how everyone can get involved, we spoke with Samantha Page, the Chief Executive Officer of Early Childhood Australia.
Early Childhood Australia is the organiser of Early Learning Matters Week. Can you please explain how the Week first came about, and what its purpose is?
Early Learning Matters Week originated in 2018 as part of the Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign.
Initially, the purpose of the Week was to better inform political decision-makers about the benefits of high-quality early education and care. Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum were encouraged to show their support by visiting their local early learning setting.
Early Learning Matters Week has since expanded to also include families and the broader community. The nationwide initiative now encourages all Australians to raise awareness and understanding of the role of early education in children’s development, and also to recognise the role educators and services play in supporting families and building our society.
In 2021, Early Learning Matters Week is being run by Early Childhood Australia and sponsored by the Minderoo Foundation’s, Thrive by Five campaign.
What are some fun and original ways that educators and children can celebrate Early Learning Matters Week at their ECEC service?
There are plenty of different ways that educators and children can participate in Early Learning Matters Week 2021, both online and face-to-face.
- Educators and centre managers can share examples of what high quality early learning looks like at their service on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and on the Early Learning Matters Week Facebook page - using the hashtags #EarlyLearningMatters and #EarlyLearningMattersWeek.
- Educators can post messages explaining why they’re passionate about the work they do in the early education and care sector, and why early learning matters to them.
- Services can host a visit with a local politician or other community leader to show them early learning in action and how it benefits young Australians.
- Services can hold an on-site celebration, like a morning tea or dress-up day, to recognise the Week with food and fun.
- Educators can also talk to children about what they like about their early learning service and create art that shows the best part of their ECEC day.
If you’re interested in participating, but are stuck on ideas, visit www.earlylearningmatters.org.au to see how services have participated in past years.
Why is it important that parents and extended family get involved with the Week, and how can they do this?
In their first few years, it is vital that children have positive and caring relationships with adults who help them learn, stay safe and be healthy.
Educators, parents and carers can all play an important role in a young child’s development, and this is why it’s important for families to get involved and participate in Early Learning Matters Week.
Parents, grandparents and other extended family can easily share in the Week by:
- Thanking an educator for the important work they do with young children.
- Reading and learning more about the importance of early learning. Early Childhood Australia’s blog, The Spoke is a great place to start.
- Asking their children’s educators how are they’re celebrating Early Learning Matters Week and how can they support them. For example, there might be a cake to make, costume to pack, or social media post to create.
Early Childhood Australia has been a voice for children since 1938. Are there any other special events you’d like to tell families about?
There’s always something happening in the early childhood space!
The Early Childhood Australia events team is currently busily preparing for the 2021 National Conference, to be held in Brisbane later in the year.
This Early Childhood Australia conference will be the first big occasion for early childhood professionals to connect, share and celebrate the sector’s achievements in over a year.
Other initiatives parents can get involved in include National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day, which is held on 4 August, 2021. This year’s theme is Proud in Culture, Strong in Spirit, and there are some great activity ideas here.
There’s also Children’s Week, which is held in October each year to celebrate the right of children to enjoy childhood. Activities will be happening at playgroups, child care centres, kindergartens, libraries, schools and elsewhere.
Families can also keep an eye on the following websites and organisations for ECEC news and events:
- ACECQA – The Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority
- SNAICC – The national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
- Thrive by Five
- The Parenthood
- The 2021 calendar of events and special dates for Early Childhood Educators and Teachers
Thank you for your time, Samantha, and happy Early Learning Matters Week!
This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Monday, 26 July 2021
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