The latest news, views & reviews for Australia's child care industry June 11, 2013
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Welcome, this week we offer you some innovative ways to build math and numeracy into your daily program and if you haven't already please take our quick poll and provide feedback on this newsletter.
Numeracy findings
One third of preschoolers struggle with numbers

NumeracyFigures from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children show that one third of preschool aged children cannot count to 20 and do not know basic numbers and while many kids have strong skills there are kids under-performing in every age category.

The analysis of numeracy skills in 11,000 children aged four to nine used National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data and also looked at child development across various social, economic and cultural environments.

The numeracy findings were presented by lead researcher Dr Galina Daraganova at a Social Policy Research Centre seminar who revealed that most children aged four-five are doing well but one in three struggled to do simple addition or count to 20.

The research also showed that kids from single parent families, poorer backgrounds and homes with three or more siblings struggle more at every level than kids from smaller two parent families. However the researchers also revealed that the effects of socio economic disadvantage lessen as children grow older.

Speaking to Dr Daraganova said the early years are crucial in setting a foundation for maths learning.

"Children who are school-ready with good numeracy skills and good verbal and non-verbal skills develop faster and perform better over time. Early numeracy shapes later understanding of maths" she said.

For more read our article (below) on how to increase maths based learning opportunities in your service.
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Building maths into your daily program

MathsIn the same way that reading to children every day from a very young age promotes early literacy, building math based activities into your daily schedule can instil in children an interest, and sometimes even passion, for mathematics in later life.

This imaginative list of simple and inexpensive ideas for making math a part of everyday life was put together by Deborah J Stewart who runs the Teach Preschool blog.

Cooking presents a wide range of opportunities to promote mathematical thinking including measuring, weighing, counting, and estimating.

Cooking also provides ample opportunity to use mathematical terms through casual conversation. "We are going to need two eggs." or "The recipe tells us we need to measure out one cup of milk."

Cooking is an inviting, fun, hands-on approach to building math skills. The greater role children can take in the cooking process, the more they will be able to put into practice basic mathematical thinking and skills.

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Reminder about displaying ratings

ReminderAs of May 1st all services which have been assessed against the National Quality Standard must make their rating available for viewing. The rating notice needs to be clearly visible from the entrance of the service and this includes family day care residences, venues and offices.

Services which have not yet been rated need to display a ‘Provisional-Not Yet Rated’ certificate. Service providers that were accredited by the old National Childcare Accreditation Council but who have not yet been assessed under the new system must display both their provisional certificate and their NCAC accreditation until they are assessed against the National Quality Standard.

For more information visit the ACECQA website.

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