Child Care News for Parents & Carers
June 24, 2020
Welcome, this week what you need to know about the end of free child care. We take a look at the impact of screen time on self-regulation skills in toddlers and have eight super simple STEM ideas to try at home. Plus your chance to win a personalised recipe book for your child courtesy of Story Antics!
What you need to know about the end of free child care
COVID-19 disrupted all of our usual work, life and child care routines, and as the pandemic took hold around the world, the government had to act quickly to prevent a health – and financial – crisis here in Australia.

In the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, there were mass absences as families kept children home, but there was also a great need for essential workers to access reliable child care and for ECEC services to continue trading.

In recognition of this, the government introduced the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package on 6 April 2020 which provided free child care for families.

Instead of paying the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS), the government provided Relief Package payments to services, leaving parents with no bill for their children’s care.

This was not always financially beneficial for ECEC services, but it did work wonders for families and made child care accessible in challenging times.
New research and advice around screen time
Mobile devices and television screens are an easy way to keep young children entertained. Busy bodies will happily sit still watching their favourite show, and although there is educational content in lots of screen offerings, there’s plenty of evidence too, that screen time is detrimental for young brains – and behaviour.

A new study by the University of California, Davis suggests that early consumption of screen media can lead to lower self-regulation skills in preschoolers. This affects a child’s ability to control their behaviour, and plan and monitor their thoughts and feelings.

Looking ahead, the researchers say that self-regulating skills can also predict academic success, physical and mental health, income, social functioning and even criminality later in life.
9 play-based science activities that build STEM skills
Science is a great way to explore ideas, make discoveries and have some fun along the way. Many experiments have that 'Wow!' factor for early learners, and there are lots of reasons to encourage science activities at home.

Young children learn through play, and play-based experiments help little ones to:
  • Think in new ways and solve problems
  • Understand cause and effect, and trial and error
  • Practice their communication and teamwork skills
  • Expand their vocabulary and
  • Gain a better understanding of the world.
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