Childcare sector joins campaign to stop the lowering of the school starting age
The Mercury - Helen Kempton - July 19, 2017

A HIGHLY visual campaign has been launched in Tasmania as the childcare sector tries to stop legislation passing to lower the school starting age. The legislation, to reduce the compulsory school starting age by six months meaning children could start kindergarten at 3.5 years, is due to go to the...

Early childhood education with a difference teaches toddlers how to play with fire
Sydney Morning Herald - Julie Power - July 19, 2017

Sixty children aged from six months to five were taught at a Newcastle childcare centre how to play with fire, powertools and knives – everything most modern parents avoid. Far from resulting in burnt fingers or broken bones, the researchers found exposing toddlers to "risky play" such as access to open...

Philanthropy Gets Behind Connecting Aboriginal Children With Extended Families
Probono Australia - Rachel McFadden - July 19, 2017

Leading Victorian childcare agencies have secured philanthropic support to complete a pilot program designed to connect Aboriginal children in out-of-home care with siblings and extended families. The family and child care agencies said there was an urgent need for a more systematic approach to...

Prep students pushed 'too hard, too fast' says former Queensland primary school teacher
ABC News - Jessica Hinchliffe - July 18, 2017

A former primary school teacher of 30 years believes prep students are being "set up to fail". Kathy Margolis resigned from teaching 18 months ago after experiencing and disagreeing with changes to the education system. She now heads the Protecting Childhood group, whose members believe...

Children's literacy study links hearing words to reading ability for first time, researchers say
ABC News - Alison Branley - July 18, 2017

Researchers from the Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders have for the first time demonstrated the link between hearing words and being able to read them. Using special eye-tracking technology, neuropsychologist Signy Wegener has established that when children hear...

Prepping for Prep: Should children play or study to get set for Prep Year?
Brisbane Times - Tony Moore - July 17, 2017

Parents should read more to their children at home and let them learn by playing, rather than enrolling them in businesses providing "prep for Prep Year", two pre-school lobby groups say. However, a private agency that has provided classes for young pre-Prep children in Queensland for four years...

Global survey shows Australia rates poorly for funding early education
The Australian - Olivia Caisley - July 17, 2017

The number of Australian children enrolled in early childhood education is far below the global average, prompting calls for increased funding to avert a possible hit to the economy in future. An OECD report places Australia 30th of 35 countries in spending on childhood care as a percentage of gross...

Kindy teachers sending reports directly to schools before child starts Prep
Courier Mail - Emmaline Stigwood - July 17, 2017

PREP teachers will be forewarned of children's behavioural and learning issues under changes which will see end of year kindy reports sent straight to schools. The shake-up comes as the number suspensions of Prep students doubled in the past three years to 1028 in 2016, compared to 572 in 2013...

Scrap kids TV content quotas: Patricia Edgar
The Australian - Stephen Brook - July 17, 2017

Children's television content quotas should be scrapped and the ABC should junk one of its two children's channels because the system for guaranteeing quality children's television no longer works, the architect of the original children's C classification says. Instead, a new independent online service...

State government to use $98.4 million pledged to girls' education on every kindergarten initiative
Herald Sun - Monique Hore & James Dowling - July 15, 2017

ALMOST $100 million pledged to kindergarten initiatives to improve girls' eduction won't just be spent on girls.The state government boasted in its Gender Budget Equality Statement that it wanted to make "women and girls safer and more socially connected". It said $98.4 million would be spent...

Mega merger concern: Not all fun and games at Camp Australia
Financial Review - Carrie LaFrenz - July 14, 2017

But they're worried a mega merger by the sector's two biggest players could scuttle their growth ambitions. Camp Australia, which is the biggest out of school hours care operator in the country and is now owned by US private equity group Bain Capital, has agreed to buy Junior Adventures Group...

Mission impossible? Managing the 10-week school holiday gap with a busy career
Women's Agenda - Leith Mitchell - July 13, 2017

For most working parents with the average 4 weeks of annual leave, there is a significant shortfall in time available to care for the kids during the holidays. It's often referred to as 'juggling work and caring responsibilities'; but a more accurate description is mission impossible. And it's a mission impossible...

Eleven games and activities for parents to encourage maths in early learning
The Conversation - Sivanes Phillipson & Ann Gervasoni - July 12, 2017

New research shows that parents play a key role in helping their children learn mathematics concepts involving time, shape, measurement and number. This mathematical knowledge developed before school is predictive of literacy and numeracy achievements in later grades. One successful approach for...

Childcare centres at firing ranges proposal called unsafe by experts due to lead exposure concerns
ABC News - George Roberts - July 12, 2017

There are women-only gyms and health clubs, so what about female-friendly firing ranges, with childcare centres and coffee clubs? The idea has been floated by a Queensland advocate for women's sport shooting, Sally Jones, and the ABC understands the national sport shooting body is prepared to...

Opinion: Childcare costs rise while some providers can't meet basic standards
The Courier Mail - Kylie Lang - July 12, 2017

THE cost of childcare is out of control, yet some childcare providers can't meet basic safety standards. There is something dreadfully wrong with this equation. As a single working parent whose child went into day care at around five months of age, my trust in his carers to provide a clean, safe...