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Pre-school education is much more than babysitting: academics. The erroneous perception that early childhood educational environments are places for child-minding or ‘baby-sitting’ has diminished over the years. Instead, these environments are now understood as important spaces for learning and development and as such, they represent a strong investment in the future: for children individually, and for our nation’s future. Scientific, research-based literature, showing the fast pace of brain development in the formative early years, the need for particular experiences to shape neurological development and the links between positive early childhood educational environments and future health and well-being, all highlight the importance of early childhood education. Play and positive interactions with others and the world around them is how children develop healthy mindsets and wellbeing. The quality of these environments matters.

All high quality early childhood care and education provides important learning environments for children. Labor promises 785 new kinders for Victoria. Mr Andrews said the increased kinder access would help give children the skills they needed to get ready for school. “And ultimately setting them on that journey so they get every chance that we want for every single Victorian,” he said. Some of the new and expanded centres may be built at schools or existing kinder services. “It is a significant cost but more than that it’s a profound investment.” Mr Andrews said the government would work with local governments using Australian Bureau of Statistics data to determine where the new kinders were most needed.

Mr Andrews acknowledged the commitment would require thousands of additional staff members. The roll out of additional hours will begin in 21 regional local government areas. Once the program is complete, about 50,000 additional children will be going to kinder each year, Mr Andrews said. She called for a marketing campaign selling the benefits of a career working in early childhood education. “The research backs that up,” he said. Want-a-more-capable-nation-start-younger-20181009-p508k6. Preschool lessons: New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire. Illustration by Alex Eben Meyer Ours is an age of pedagogy. Anxious parents instruct their children more and more, at younger and younger ages, until they're reading books to babies in the womb.

They pressure teachers to make kindergartens and nurseries more like schools. So does the law—the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act explicitly urged more direct instruction in federally funded preschools. There are skeptics, of course, including some parents, many preschool teachers, and even a few policy-makers. Shouldn't very young children be allowed to explore, inquire, play, and discover, they ask? What do we already know about how teaching affects learning? Developmental scientists like me explore the basic science of learning by designing controlled experiments. In the first study, MIT professor Laura Schulz, her graduate student Elizabeth Bonawitz, and their colleagues looked at how 4-year-olds learned about a new toy with four tubes. Why might children behave this way? Early childhood education with a difference teaches toddlers how to play with fire.

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 flames and genuine tools increased confidence while building safety and risk awareness, according to the University of Newcastle study. Over a nine-month period even six-month-old babies were exposed to fire, starting with tea lights on the table at lunchtime and graduating to fire pits, while under careful staff supervision. The research program was conducted at the Adamstown Early Learning and Preschool, which has a philosophy of encouraging risky play.

Its director Kate Higginbottom said children at the centre regularly engaged in risky play under supervision and accompanied by children entering into agreements about what was safe. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 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. 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. Rolf Harris not guilty of indecent ... The 87-year-old entertainer heard at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday that the prosecution would not seek a further retrial on charges that he groped teenage girls. Ian Macdonald 'betrayed the people of NSW' Trump's climate call High level defence meeting in Sydney. 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.

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. Dear Senator Leyonhjelm Where do we begin? Yours sincerely. ‘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. (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. Another reason was the increased emphasis on academics in early-childhood education, which has led to a lessening of physical activity. This post looks at a related reason: When kids are allowed to play in school, the things they are allowed to do are restricted in an unhelpful way. Local answer-sheet Orlando Shooting Updates News and analysis on the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. post_newsletter348 follow-orlando true after3th false Answer Sheet newsletter Education questions and answers, in your inbox weekly.

Please provide a valid email address. By Angela Hanscom. 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. 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? Or does it mean knowing how to read two year levels above year age, do times tables and being able to play a piano concerto? An increasing number of parents seem to believe that being school ready should take an academic focus with enrolments of our youngest students into tutoring programs on the rise.

Kumon, one of the world's tutoring multinationals, has 42,000 Australian students and its pre-school enrolments have surged since 2011. 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.” Jack Shonkoff, the director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, finds that language supremely frustrating. “It’s not taking a break from learning when we talk about play,” he told me, rattling off a litany of cognitive, physical, mental, and social-emotional benefits. “Play is one of the most important ways in which children learn.” But in the mid-2000s, the federal No Child Left Behind education law—which emphasized test scores—prompted some schools to scale back recess (along with art and music) to spend more time on math and reading.

Yet while that was going on, the science showing the benefits of play was also growing increasingly robust. Pepe Gonzalez is the principal of Laurel Dell, an elementary school in San Rafael, California, about 15 miles north of San Francisco. The Importance of Play and Experiential Learning in Early Childhood | Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology Services. 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 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. Problems With Accelerated Early-Learning The Importance of Play and Experiential Learning.

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. 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. She switches between roles and perspectives, between modes of thinking and tinkering. This kind of experiential learning, in which children acquire knowledge by doing and via reflection on their experiences, is full of movement, imagination, and self-directed play. 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. 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. Fun in the mud at East Burwood Preschool. Photo: Daniel Pockett Even worse than expecting every child to turn out exactly the same art work, is when teachers "fix up" the finished product. Kid cut loose in creative play. 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.

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.

“It’s relaxing right now,” Lemus says. Quality Public Child Care: An Economic No-Brainer. Child care will be a major issue in this federal election campaign. 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. The economic arguments in favour of public, accessible child care are powerful. 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. I put her in a preschool that was academic in nature – the focus on pre-reading, writing, and math skills. At home, I bought her special puzzles, set up organized play dates with children her age, read to her every night, signed her up for music lessons, put her in dance, and drove her to local museums. NSW preschools face closure as cuts loom. Childcare kids more likely to develop social, emotional and behavioural problems. Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges | Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play - Tim Walker. Playtime Isn’t Just for Preschoolers—Teenagers Need It, Too. Why Swedish early learning is so much better than Australia's. Fact check: Did the Abbott Government cut $1 billion from child care? - Fact Check. 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. Good results for early learning, but the devil is in the detail. Two flat whites and a bawling child, please. Paid Maternity Leave: Almost Everywhere. Child Care News - ® Oklahoma! Where the Kids Learn Early. Australia's schools are underfunded, undervalued and, yes, unequal | Jane Caro.

Look in the mirror: Just substitute "Canadian" for "American child care hell" | Child care Canada. The Hell of American Day Care. Child Care Aware | America's most trusted child care resource. Five shocking facts about child care in 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. Release of report on validity of assessment and rating process | MyChild. Terms of reference should be sounding alarm bells | Lighting Fires: Liam McNicholas. 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 | MyChild. Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes. Early Years Quality Fund Advisory Board appointed. Childcare and the damage myth | Childcare. EC1303_Formal-Learning_Yes-or-no. Social skills 'key to good start at school'