Early Childhood Education and Care News
March 2, 2021
Welcome, this week the important role of early education settings in supporting neuro-diverse children and learn about a range of new resources to scaffold educators dealing with fussy eaters. Also, meet the new general manager of The Scholars Group, Brent Stokes.
Industry profile: Brent Stokes
The Scholars Group has just appointed Brent Stokes as General Manager, as he finishes his position as CEO of the Australian Childcare Alliance Queensland.

We spoke to Brent about his professional experiences in early education and what he views as the major challenges facing the Australian early education sector.
Supporting neurodiversity in early education settings
There is a lot of variety in human brains, just like there is in human bodies. Neurodiversity refers to the reason for these differences, and includes Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Aphasia and other things that can affect a child's learning style.

The early education setting provides a crucial step in a neurodiverse child’s educational and social journey. By understanding more about neurodiversity and adapting your teaching style or centre set-up to embrace differences, you can help build a child's self-esteem and resilience, and set them on a positive learning path for life.

Autistic writer, speaker and resource developer Michelle Swan wrote an article on her blog about how to adapt the classroom to support children with ASD, which can be a practical tool for the early learning setting too:
New ways to tempt picky eaters through learning and play
Encouraging young children to try healthy new foods can be a challenge for parents and educators alike.

As anyone who has sat beside a picky eater faced with an unfamiliar flavour or texture knows, convincing them to try something new takes consistency, perseverance and often a little creativity.

To help, the Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS), a programme delivered by Nutrition Australia Victorian Division with support from the Victorian Government, has released new resources for early childhood educators to make healthy eating fun.
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