News in brief

Transition to school resource website

This practical website developed by Early Childhood Intervention Australia (NSW) includes specific information to help Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) professionals support families of children with disabilities to transition to school. The focus of this resource is upon the need for a community-wide, collaborative approach to transition to school, rather than placing an emphasis on children’s school readiness skills. The Transition to School Resource includes practical tools such as: downloadable planning checklists, a concise template for sharing information about a child with the new school, a social story template, sample visual supports, calming strategies, and examples of activities which can help prepare children for school. Information relevant to enrolling in all education sectors in NSW (independent, Catholic and public schools) is provided.

Register to vote

For the first time early childhood teachers in NSW are able to vote in the BOSTES Quality Teaching Council (QTC) elections. The QTC is the peak body that represents working teachers at BOSTES. It advises BOSTES about quality teaching initiatives and accreditation policy. However, all early childhood teachers need to register to vote by 9 October.

They can do this by following this link:

More than half of Queensland education and care services yet to receive Quality Rating

The latest Snapshot released by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) reports that only 47% of Queensland education and care services have received an NQF Quality Rating. The figure lags behind the national average of 52%. The Northern Territory had the highest proportion of rated services at 66%. The Snapshot reported that services are more likely to receive an ‘Exceeding’ or ‘Meeting’ rating in National Quality Standard (NQS) Areas: 4 - Staffing arrangements, 5 - Relationships with children and 6 - Partnerships with families and communities.In contrast, services are less likely to meet the NQS in Areas: 1 – Educational program and practice, 2 – Children’s health and safety, 3 – Physical environment and 7 – Leadership and service management. The ACECQA Snapshot is released quarterly to monitor implementation progress of the National Quality Framework, which was introduced in 2012.

New technology links children to families around the world

Australia’s most experienced early childhood education provider, KU Children’s Services, has today announced a partnership with software innovators, Storypark, to introduce new software technology to childcare centres across the country. New to Australia, the Storypark platform allows parents and family members across the globe to connect with their children’s early education experiences in real-time, ensuring they are kept up to date on their child’s learning, while allowing ongoing feedback between educators and families. KU teachers will use the online system to document children’s learning and share experiences with families by uploading photos, short videos, stories and news. Parents and family members are able to log in to a personalised account and will receive real-time notifications when at work, in transit or at home via their PC, tablet or Smartphone. The opportunity to respond to stories and experiences with suggestions and comments allows for deeper interactions and connections.

Qld member reaches 25-year milestone

Early childhood education members make an immeasurable contribution to the prosperity of our Union and continue to ensure our Union is a strong voice for employees in our sector. Every year, IEUA-QNT takes the opportunity to recognise a significant group of our membership: those who have been members for 25 years. For 25 year members in the early childhood sector, the intervening years have been a period of significant change in the sector. This year, Director at Yeronga Hyde Road Kindergarten, Helen Knaggs, marks 25 years of membership, and reflects on how the sector has changed over the years. Helen said there is more pressure and accountability now than in years gone by. “Before the National Curriculum and Assessment process, a teacher could work in a kindergarten and teach what and how they wanted, provided it made the parents and affiliated consultants happy. That teacher and centre could survive in a little isolated bubble,” Helen said. “Today, despite how happy parents may feel, teachers have to comply with a large number of external standards and regulations, some of which seem to change with the opinion of individual assessors, so we all feel less secure and rather vulnerable. The focus on documentation now is retrospective; you spend far more time writing up what you have done rather than designing what you plan to do, which seems to be an odd way to provide what is best for the child.”