Early Childhood Education and Care News
April 7, 2020
Happy Easter! a fascinating and provocative article by early childhood expert Nicole Halton on whether parents make better educators. Also, kindness is contagious so let's teach children how to share this most wonderful of human characteristics.

Plus, COVID-19 and the various support measures available for the early childhood sector.
COVID-19 Various support measures available for the early childhood sector
After weeks of pleading for help, the early childhood sector can breathe a small sigh of relief this week after the government announced its Early Childhood Education and Care Support package, which commenced yesterday and complements existing lifelines available to the sector.

The package has been designed to ensure early childhood services are available for frontline workers and disadvantaged families during the pandemic, as well as to ensure the viability of the sector at the conclusion of this critical stage of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

It is important to take into account other support measures available to the sector including the JobKeeper Payment, Boosting Cash Flow for Employers Payments. State and Territory support including payroll tax deferrals, rebates & waivers. Victoria is also providing extra funding to support sessional providers.
Food for Thought: Do parents make better educators?
"None of them are mums – they have no idea."
"They are all so young."
"There's one great educator – she's a parent, so she gets it."

These are some snippets of a conversation that I overheard at the school gate last week. As parents arrived to collect their children from school, one shared their frustration with their other child's early education and care service.

While there is no doubt that their concerns were valid and that they ultimately want their child to be happy, settled and well cared for in the service, what stood out to me most was the assertion that the "young" educators were doing a lousy job because they weren't parents yet. Other parents quickly agreed with this idea, expressing their preference for more "mature" educators who were already parents, suggesting that they were better at their job as a result.
Kindness is contagious: Create a caring culture
Kindness makes us healthier, happier and, according to science, it might even be contagious! Kindness is a natural human response that can flow naturally from even the youngest child and to ensure it stays with children throughout their early years and into adulthood, it should be nurtured, reinforced and celebrated.

Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate, and it includes other caring behaviours like concern, sharing and gentleness. Kindness is also an important component of empathy, which is the ability to place yourself in someone else's shoes and understand what they are feeling.

Early childhood educators can promote kindness and caring behaviours among children by using every day interactions as opportunities for teaching, modelling and rewarding. The positive effect of kindness reinforces more kindness, reduces bullying and it feels good.
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