More funding certainty for ECEC required, report finds
This week the Mitchell Institute released a report titled Australian Investment in Education: Early Childhood Education and Care. The report explores how much Australia invests in early childhood education and care (ECEC), at both a governmental and private level, and possible implications for future ECEC policy.
Key findings from the report include:
Government expenditure on ECEC has grown substantially since 2008, and in 2018 was approximately $9.2 billion, an increase in real terms since 2008 of almost 140%.
In 2018, government investment in ECEC fell for the first time in at least a decade.
The vast majority of government expenditure, 83.5% in 2018, is in the form of child care subsidies, with preschool delivery accounting for the remaining proportion of expenditure.
While per child expenditure on ECEC is difficult to calculate, estimates indicate that it remains below the base level of per-student expenditure in primary schools; despite the higher ratios of educators to children required to deliver quality ECEC services.
Promising areas of policy reform include:
Improving the transparency and certainty of government funding for ECEC, including achieving stability in preschool funding; and reporting on real changes in ECEC investment by controlling for variables related to participation.
Investing in quality in all types of ECEC services to maximise the return on government investment in the sector. Classifying child care services as ‘education and training’ may clarify the investment logic for early learning.
Improving the transparency of private investment in ECEC, including better data collection and reporting, and simplifying funding arrangements for families.
Are you interested in enhancing your skills and confidence to support children's mental health?
The below article is written by Everymind,a leading institute dedicated to the prevention of mental ill-health and suicide, which has been delivering successful mental health and suicide prevention programs for over 25 years. Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) is proud to be partnering with Everymind in the development of Minds Together.
Children who are supported in their mental health and wellbeing are more likely to experience positive physical and mental health as adults, and family day care educators are uniquely placed to provide this support for children in their care.
Approximately 150 family day care educators are being sought to trial a new eight-week online program, Minds Together, which aims to enhance capacity and confidence around promoting children’s mental health.
Developed in Australia, this self-paced program outlines the knowledge, skills and practices needed to support children’s wellbeing and to provide early intervention when needed.
Minds Together also encourages educators to reflect on their own mental health and wellbeing.
Family day care educators who completed the program during the initial pilot said:
“It supports what we do every day and brings to light the people we tend to forget in running our own service, the educator.”
“I found the program to be really achievable in terms of time and because of the online format could be done when it suited me. It provided valuable tools that are practical for use.”
“It should be a compulsory part of training for all educators.”
The program’s six modules explore areas of early childhood education practice, which research and expert opinion have identified as critical to achieving positive mental health outcomes. Each 30-minute module includes information, practical tips, case studies and reflective questions.
Participants must be currently practicing family day care educators in Australia, aged 18 years or older, and must commit to completing all program modules and up to three online surveys.
If you completed the initial research survey or consultation for this project, you are still eligible to participate in the trial.
This project is being conducted by researchers from Everymind, as part of The Prevention Hub, funded by the Federal Department of Health.
Please register your interest by completing the online form available here by Friday 17 April.
Be You and Emerging Minds release bushfires response resource packs for educators
Following the recent national bushfire crisis, both Be You and Emerging Minds have developed resource packs for schools and early learning services that has been affected.
The resource packs focus on providing information related to mental health and wellbeing for learning communities and aims to help educators, families and community members manage the mental health impact of the bushfire crisis.
To access Be You’s bushfire response resource pack, click here.
To access Emerging Mind’s bushfire response resource pack, click here.
National Engagement Program – Register now for Melbourne and Canberra forums!
Following overwhelmingly positive feedback to the 2019 National Engagement Program (NEP) forums, FDCA is excited to announce that the NEP is returning to Melbourne and Canberra.
We're continuing to invest in and support our members!
In your role as a family day care professional, we recognise that it is vital that you are able to access ongoing professional development and networking opportunities, while also having the chance to critically reflect on your practice as you strive to deliver high quality outcomes for children.
That's why in our role as your national peak body, we will proudly continue to invest in the ongoing professional development of our members. This means attendance at our NEP forums will again be FREE (valued at over $100) for our members.
Limited tickets remaining
The upcoming Melbourne and Canberra forums have already received a great response and with less than 30% of tickets remaining, register now to make sure you don't miss out!
Updated fact sheets from the Australian Government about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
On 14 February 2020 the Australian Government published further updated factsheets on the novel coronavirus for the education and training sector.
The updated Department of Health factsheets can be found by following the link on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website. The Department will continue to advise each time these factsheets are updated.
Please regularly check the Department of Health’s website to help ensure that you are using the latest version of these factsheets.
FDCA 2021 National Conference - Payment plans now available to members
FDCA is excited to announce that payment plans for full registration early-bird tickets to the FDCA 2021 National Conference are now available, exclusively to FDCA members!
Why use a payment plan to purchase my ticket?
For many members the option of paying for their conference ticket by the month makes it much easier to purchase, as they don't have to worry about paying for the full amount up front. Payment plans were an extremely popular option for members who attended the FDCA 2018 National Conference and we're pleased to be able to support members by providing these additional options for purchasing tickets.
What plans are available?
To provide members with more flexibility when purchasing tickets, two types of payment plans are available to members: a 12-month and a 6-month plan. FDCA members are able to access the 12-month payment plan up until the end of 31 August 2020, while access to the 6-month payment plan will conclude on 28 February 2021.
How can I access a payment plan?
To purchase your FDCA 2021 Conference ticket via a payment plan, simply click here and choose the 12-month or 6-month option when selecting your ticket.