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The big little thing missing from the schools funding debate. Question time often has a classroom vibe, courtesy of MPs' undisguised boredom and the Speaker's frequent pleas for shoosh.

The big little thing missing from the schools funding debate

Proceedings certainly have a mental age of about eight at the moment as Parliament squirms and fidgets over the Coalition's plan to put an extra $19 billion into schools and Labor arguing this means a $22 billion cut. This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Caption Settings Dialog Beginning of dialog window. Rolf Harris not guilty of indecent assaults 'Gonski 2.0' education push Education Minister Simon Birmingham has introduced legislation and detailed modelling to states under the new 'Gonski 2.0' proposal. Shortside E-Newsletter. Wednesday January 11, 2017 Below is a letter we are sending to help Senator David Leyonhjelm to fill the gaps in his understanding of early childhood education with current evidence-based research.

Shortside E-Newsletter

The Senator claimed that educators are over-qualified for their job of “wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other”. He suggested on Channel 10's The Project last night that he could use his power in the vote on childcare funding reform to introduce amendments that roll back important quality measures including the need for trained educators. We would like your help to 'school' the Senator in these errors. You may wish to use the button in the footer of this email to forward the message directly to him at or share it with him on Twitter @DavidLeyonhjelm or Facebook You may also wish to use this letter for references in your own message to the Senator. ‘Lets face it, keeping children sedentary for most of their waking hours is causing harm’ At many schools, kids can’t do this any more.

‘Lets face it, keeping children sedentary for most of their waking hours is causing harm’

(iStock) In 2015, the New York Times reported that over a four-year period, the number of students in New York City public schools being referred for occupational therapy rose by 30 percent and that similar increases were reported in other cities. One of the reasons offered was the increase in the number of autistic students who had been mainstreamed into regular classrooms. Is it right to be prepping for prep? As holidays begin and with only one term remaining in the school year many parents are probably already thinking about the start of classes in 2017, particularly those who will have children going to school for the first time.

Is it right to be prepping for prep?

It's around this time too, even though most enrolments were completed back in May, when many start to wonder whether a child is really "school ready". And what does that even mean in today's society? Does being school ready mean knowing how to share, how to use a toilet independently, how to follow simple instructions? Students Who Play Do Better in School. Google the definition of play and the first thing that pops up is this: “[To] engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.”

Students Who Play Do Better in School

Jack Shonkoff, the director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, finds that language supremely frustrating. The Importance of Play and Experiential Learning in Early Childhood. I came across an interesting article in The Age this week (Little learners in the rug-rat race) about how parents these days are “facing increasing pressure to begin their child’s education while still in nappies”.

The Importance of Play and Experiential Learning in Early Childhood

The accelerated early-learning approach and intense focus on a child’s academic achievement made me think of all the young people I see who are developing anxiety about school and academic performance. In particular, there are a growing number of children who require counselling in order to get through the dreaded NAPLAN ordeal! An accelerated early-learning approach can be problematic when taken to an extreme.

This, of course, depends on the format of the teaching and the intensity and how effectively the teaching is balanced with playtime and other activities. Sure, some degree of structured learning from a young age can be beneficial. Why Movement is Essential in Early Childhood. One of my children is spinning in a circle, creating a narrative about a princess as she twirls.

Why Movement is Essential in Early Childhood

The other is building a rocket ship out of a discarded box, attaching propellers made of cardboard and jumping in and out of her makeshift launcher. It is a snow day, and I’ve decided to let them design their own activities as I clean up and prepare a meal. My toddler becomes the spinning princess, imagining her character’s feelings and reactions. What seems like a simple story involves sequencing, character development, and empathy for the brave princess stuck in her tower. The rocket ship my first grader is working on needs a pilot and someone to devise the dimensions and scale of its frame; it also needs a story to go with it. The love of a child - Karana Early Education Centre - Eskay Kids.

Creative play: In praise of getting messy. Kinder kids playing in the mud play area at East Burwood Preschool.

Creative play: In praise of getting messy

Photo: Daniel Pockett If your Mother's Day flower looked more like a squashed bug or you thought that cardboard Easter bunny your pre-schooler bought home was a bunyip, that's OK, in fact, top marks. Early childhood educators say there is too much pressure on young children to replicate craft activities that say more about their parents' egos and less about learning the mechanics of paint and paper or expressing their creativity.

Many teachers say the biggest problem is parents who expect their preschooler to bring home something pretty to put on the fridge at home, and want to see their little ones' creations on display in the kinder room, looking exactly like everyone else's. California’s early ed workers struggle to stay afloat. SAN FRANCISCO — It’s about 8:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning in June and 3- and 4-year-olds are starting to flood into Maria Alicia Lemus’ classroom in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco.

California’s early ed workers struggle to stay afloat

They scream “teacher, teacher, teacher” as they eagerly ring the outside bell. Lemus, the classroom’s lead teacher, sighs and then smiles as she opens the gate to let in her students. “What are we doing today?” Shouted Adrian Lorencillo, age, 5, one of the oldest and most energetic boys in the class. Before rushing to put his backpack and soccer equipment away in the cubbies, he proudly showed Lemus his new cleats. “K is for Kimberly,” Lemus tells the first few students to arrive in her soft voice, as she paints a large “K” on a piece of bright construction paper.

The Head Start preschool classroom Lemus leads is a bright space with high ceilings, and multiple play areas. “People don’t see the value in early education,” said Lemus, 24, of the wages she earns. Quality Public Child Care: An Economic No-Brainer. Child care will be a major issue in this federal election campaign.

Quality Public Child Care: An Economic No-Brainer

The NDP has pledged to create 370,000 new $15-per-day spaces through joint federal-provincial initiatives by 2017-18, at an estimated cost of around $2 billion per year (growing that to 1 million spaces by 2023). The Liberals have not yet announced their child care platform, but have indicated it will also include significant funding for federal-provincial initiatives. The Conservatives, in contrast, have launched an ideological war on the very concept of publicly-funded child care, claiming it is unaffordable and that families should be allowed to spend “their money” on whatever priority they choose. (That individualistic argument, if applied consistently, would also justify eliminating public education and health care, too.) So the choice between Conservatives and the opposition parties on this issue (like so many) will be stark. Early Childhood Consultation Paper (PDF) (1) The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues.

(iStock) Here is a new post from pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom, author of a number of popular posts on this blog, including “Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today,” as well as “The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class” and “How schools ruined recess.” Hanscom is the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England. By Angela Hanscom I still recall the days of preschool for my oldest daughter. I remember wanting to desperately enrich her life in any way possible – to give her an edge before she even got to formal schooling. NSW preschools face closure as cuts loom.

Government funding of disadvantaged preschools in NSW will be wound back next year, but some are already making cuts and in some cases closing their doors. The funding shake-up in the early childhood education sector will cut government subsidies from most three-year-olds to focus greater resources on four-year-olds. A survey of providers by the Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) found most preschools believed they were likely to struggle without additional support funding. More than half of preschools had already raised fees for three-year-olds and a further 25% indicated they would do so. There are about 800 preschools in NSW, catering to about 32,000 children, with the new funding model aimed at better targeting children in the year before they start school and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Co-operative chief executive, Leanne Gibbs, told The Sydney Morning Herald the change had resulted in financial uncertainty for the sector.

Childcare kids more likely to develop social, emotional and behavioural problems. Researchers have found that children who are heavy users of childcare centres are more ready for school, but face social problems. Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges. How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play - Tim Walker. Like a zombie, Sami—one of my fifth graders—lumbered over to me and hissed, “I think I’m going to explode! I’m not used to this schedule.” And I believed him. An angry red rash was starting to form on his forehead. Yikes, I thought. Playtime Isn’t Just for Preschoolers—Teenagers Need It, Too. Why Swedish early learning is so much better than Australia's.

Most people have heard that Finland leads the world in education, but fewer have heard that Finland’s neighbour, Sweden, is the international leader in early childhood education and care. In 1999, when Sweden was inspected by a group of international experts appointed by the OECD, the group concluded in their report that early childhood education and care in Sweden are of high quality, and in many areas the very best. The system is called “EDUCARE”, and the name itself may hold the key to Sweden’s success. Education and care go together in early childhood In the picture below, taken at a Swedish preschool, you see a warm and loving interaction between a teacher and young child who are exploring the world together through a digital camera.

Fact check: Did the Abbott Government cut $1 billion from child care? - Fact Check. Updated. Childcare in UK's real problem? Lack of educated staff. 'My warning to parents is simple: one in five children put into nursery early will develop mental health problems' What Stalled the Gender Revolution? Child Care That Costs More Than College Tuition. The essay was part of a collection of stories and essays around the theme of gender in the most recent issue of California magazine.

I am probably a familiar type to you. I went to college, got a master’s degree, started a career, married, and had my first child late, at 35. Good results for early learning, but the devil is in the detail. The recommendations of the Productivity Commission into Childcare and Early Learning appear to be a win for early childhood learning. However, as with many reports such as this, the devil is in the detail.

One has to question how easy the recommendations will be to implement. Two flat whites and a bawling child, please. Should you confront the parents of noisy children? Paid Maternity Leave: Almost Everywhere. Child Care News - ® Oklahoma! Where the Kids Learn Early. Australia's schools are underfunded, undervalued and, yes, unequal. In proud, egalitarian Australia, our lowest performing students are as many as eight years behind our highest performing students. Yet education minister Christopher Pyne says we do not have an equity problem in Australia’s education system.

Look in the mirror: Just substitute "Canadian" for "American child care hell" The Hell of American Day Care. America's most trusted child care resource. Five shocking facts about child care in the United States. In the latest issue of The New Republic, Jonathan Cohn has a searing cover story on the low quality of child care around the United States. Girl napping at in-home day care in SE Minnesota stops breathing, dies. Maturity more vital than the three Rs for school starters. Bright spark: Gemma Eastwood-Bell is happy for daughter Zara to start school this week even though she is 4 and a half.

Photo: James Alcock. Release of report on validity of assessment and rating process. Terms of reference should be sounding alarm bells. Little learners in the rug-rat race. School ditches rules and loses bullies - National News. Reforms put early education beyond the reach of the needy. There's something missing from the Prime Minister's Child Care Inquiry. PM - New childcare quality ratings go online 01/05/2013. Terms of reference - Childcare and Early Childhood Learning. Childcare providers failing national audit. Why you should care about somebody else's child care and preschool - MD Mama. ACECQA — Education and care services making good progress on raising quality.

Creating a more effective and sustainable community services system. Childcare splits parents, experts. Child Care Flexibility Trials. Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes. Early Years Quality Fund Advisory Board appointed. Childcare and the damage myth. EC1303_Formal-Learning_Yes-or-no. Social skills 'key to good start at school'