E-Safety training for early childhood educators

Published on Tuesday, 09 June 2020
Last updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2021

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During the lockdown conditions implemented as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, many older children were required to spend more time on screens than usual as a result of online learning in schools.

However, many younger children spent more time online as well, as their early childhood centres moved to delivering play-based learning experiences online and parents looked for ways to keep children busy during the long days at home.

In this strange new world, early childhood providers suddenly had a front and centre role in creating, curating and delivering content and supporting families to access high quality early childhood learning experiences online. 

Recognising this important responsibility Australia’s eSafety Commissioner teamed up with Play School favourites Big Ted, Humpty and Kiya, to help teach pre-schoolers how to be safe online and encourage them to ask for help from an adult if they get into trouble. 

The partnership kicked off with the April airing of a special online safety-themed Play School episode and is being supported by the release of a series of four professional learning modules for early childhood educators and managers, developed in conjunction with Early Childhood Australia.   

Three modules for educators and one for service leaders provide comprehensive, competency-based learning in the ever-evolving area of online safety. Modules are self-paced and interactive, ensuring the learner is well equipped to provide a safe online environment and support children and families in their digital technology experiences.

Keeping the child at the centre of all learning and focusing on their capabilities with digital technologies, the modules examine and explain online safety concepts through a child’s experience in digital contexts.

All modules feature advice and information from researchers and experts in the field of technology in the early years, as well as practical examples from early learning services.

The modules

The three educator modules focus on different types of digital contexts, identify the risks associated with them and address how these risks can be mitigated.

We SAY and SHARE with technology examines the benefits and risks associated with using technologies as a communication tool.

We MAKE and DO using technology explores the uses and risks of technology as a tool for creation.

We WATCH and EXPLORE on technology explains the benefits and risks associated with using technologies to find out information or for entertainment.

Practical advice for building good habits, self-regulation skills and critical thinking around children’s technology use is explained through each module in four key messages:

  • Be safe
  • Be kind
  • Ask for help
  • Make good choices

A fourth module, for service Directors and Managers, is focused on policies and processes designed to ensure a safe online environment in early learning services.

Created in consultation with ACECEQA, the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority, this module aligns with the National Quality Standard and Early Years Learning Framework.

You can access all four modules, free of charge, through Early Childhood Australia’s Learning Hub.

Additional resources

The eSafety Early Years program is designed to help early childhood educators, parents and carers improve online safety for our youngest Australians.

Explore the eSafety Early Years resources for educators, for more guidance and teaching ideas.

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