News

Our Finalists have been chosen for our NZ Study Tour Competition!

Posted: 20 Jun 2018

Steve Hineman, Jessica Abrill and Imogen Stroker drawing our shortlisted finalists for our Early Childhood Education Study Tour to New Zealand today! In collaboration with Kelly Goodsir Consultancy we've been able to provide this fantastic opportunity worth over $3000.
Congratulations to our shortlisted applicants:

Catherine Arnott - Alfred Nuttall Memorial Kindergarten & Serrell Street Kindergarten 

Jessica Bishop - Nino ELA Preston

Samantha Hastie - Ashwood Children's Centre

Sandy Webb - Lancefield Early Education Centre

Jo Miles - Paratea Preschool

We look forward to meeting with you soon, good luck with the competition and thank you to all our entrants!

LGPro National Congress & Business Expo

Posted: 01 Jan 0001

LGPro National Congress & Business Expo

Join us over August 22 to the 24th for the LG Professional National Congress in Canberra. There will be some of the finest keynote speakers we have seen in a long while. 

Make sure to come grab a coffee on us for the early wake up!

For more information.

LGPro Aged & Disability Services Seminar 2018

Posted: 01 Jan 0001

LGPro Aged & Disability Services Seminar 2018

Local Government Professionals are hosting the Aged and Disability Services seminar in St Kilda, September 5th this year.

The focus of this year's seminar will surround aged and disability services' future, given that some councils are ceasing their delivery. Hence the theme for this year will be "Building and Strengthening our Communities" and will explore reinvestment, being competitive, innovative and changing work practices, Councils’ position on age friendly communities and active ageing, and how to support the ageing population and younger people (65 years and under) into the future.

For more information.

Early Childhood Australia National Conference - NSW

Posted: 01 Jan 0001

Early Childhood Australia National Conference - Sydney

Be the difference for children and families

This is the theme for this year's Early Childhood Australia National Conference held in Sydney. This coming together of like-minded educators will explore current and emerging practice and prove to be a valuable chance for networking within early childhood services.

We will be hosting our free cafe, so come along for a hot cuppa on September 19-22!

More information. 

LASA National Congress Adelaide

Posted: 01 Jan 0001

LASA National Congress Adelaide

Ageing Transformed... the Dawning of a New Era

"As dawn breaks on the third decade of the 21st century, a new ageing landscape is emerging in Australia. This era of transformation will be one of embracing disruptive innovation as the new normal, reimagining the built and virtual environments, championing thoughtleadership at every opportunity, and negotiating the dynamic boundaries of ageing well."

Come join us at the conference for a coffee on us!

More information.

KU Annual Conference 2018

Posted: 01 Jan 0001

KU Annual Conference 2018

New Frontiers from Strong Foundations

The KU theme this year was formed to be provocative and reaffirming, and highlights the need to grow to greater limits whilst also needing a firm base with which to plant our feet. 

We will be running our McArthur Cafe, so come join us to discuss exactly what that might mean!

More information

What outcomes parents should expect from early childhood education and care

Posted: 01 Jan 0001

What outcomes parents should expect from early childhood education and care

By the time children are five, they should show preference for a particular hand and be able to work with others. from www.shutterstock.com Wendy Boyd, Southern Cross University

Parents often have different expectations for their three- to five-year-old children when they attend an early learning centre. Some parents expect their child to engage in academic learning activities or “real learning”. Academic activities are associated with formal school-based learning such as writing, reading and knowing their numbers.

Parents are reported to feel concerned if they visit their friend’s home and see their friend’s child brings home worksheets (for example dot-to-dot of their name, colouring in of Easter eggs, or other adult-directed products) from their early childhood centre. They may worry their child is being left behind because their child is “only playing” and not engaging in real learning.

Other parents focus on their child being safe and secure in a stimulating environment where children make choices about what they will play. Such learning environments are supported by educators who are responsive to the child, and socially construct the child’s play.


Read more: Australia is still lagging on some aspects of early childhood education


The tension lies between teacher-directed activities where children are perceived to be doing “real learning”, as opposed to children making choices to play according to their interests.

So, what should three- to five-year-olds be learning?

Developmental milestones provided by the Australian Children’s Early Childhood Quality Authority (ACECQA) state:

Children’s learning is ongoing and each child will progress towards the outcomes in different and equally meaningful ways.

This milestones checklist covers five domains of learning, which is linked to the curriculum and the National Quality Standards:

  1. physical

  2. social

  3. emotional

  4. cognitive

  5. language development.

The checklist indicates what a child should be able to do by a certain age, and this is linked to the early childhood education curriculum.


Developmental milestones and the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards, CC BY-ND


Research demonstrates children’s learning achievements are greater from play-based programs, which include activities such as block building, compared to early childhood programs that have an academic focus.

The early childhood education curriculum emphasises the importance of play-based learning and research demonstrates children’s learning achievements are greater from play-based programs compared to early childhood programs that have an academic focus.

When to worry

According to the developmental milestones, parents should seek advice from a professional if their three- to five-year-old child:

  • is not understood by others

  • has speech fluency problems or stammering

  • is not playing with other children

  • is not able to have a conversation

  • is not able to go to the toilet or wash him/herself.

Children aged three to five should be able to build a tower with eight to ten blocks. Shutterstock

Parent-teacher relationships are important

Educators need to be able to explain their approach to children’s learning to parents at the outset of the child/family’s admission to the centre and reinforce this as children learn and develop.

The curriculum and the National Quality Standards both focus on educators having “partnerships with families”. But if there is disagreement about what and how children should be learning, a partnership between the parents and teachers won’t develop and endure.


Read more: Play-based learning can set your child up for success at school and beyond


Parents need to be continuously informed about the learning program in the centre. There needs to be alignment between parents’ expectation of what their child will learn in an early childhood centre, with the learning program provided, and the play-based approach a good one for the children.The Conversation

Wendy Boyd, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Southern Cross University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.