ACECQA Newsletter Issue 3 2024

Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan

CEO foreword

Welcome to our third edition for 2024. June and July are months of significant events for our sector including the commencement of NAIDOC Week on 7 July 2024, National Out of School Hours Care Educators’ Day on 31 July 2024 and National Reconciliation Week that started on 27 May 2024.

NAIDOC Week each year is an opportunity to specifically focus on the history, achievements and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within your service and community.

As you plan for National Reconciliation Week, we would like to acknowledge your ongoing commitment to reconciliation. We are proud to highlight that 51% of all early learning services across Australia have commenced the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) development process with Narragunnawali and the sector makes up more than 72% of all published RAPs on the Reconciliation Australia platform

We are delighted that our second Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was launched in National Reconciliation Week. Our RAP drives and shapes our commitment to the next part of our reconciliation journey from April 2024 to April 2026. We continue to honour our commitments to the NQF guiding principles, including that the rights and best interests of children are paramount and Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are valued.

Our RAP also confirms our commitment to:

  • embracing unity, equity and equality in an inclusive, diverse and culturally safe workplace
  • furthering our learning about reconciliation
  • identifying opportunities to meaningfully contribute to reconciliation across ACECQA and the children’s education and care sector
  • building respectful and collaborative relationships with First Nations’ peoples, organisations and communities.

As we highlight in this edition, the early education and outside school hours care sector is demonstrating growing leadership across education in supporting children to be active and informed members of their communities with knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, as envisaged by the recently refreshed approved learning frameworks’ vision for children’s learning.

With the National OSHC Educators’ Day, it is a time to really consider the important role OSHC services have in modern Australian society where many children and young people spend more hours in OSHC than in school. While ensuring children and young people are protected, active and thriving before and after school hours and in holiday periods, OSHC educators provide the safe environment and varied opportunities for social, physical, emotional and cognitive skills development. Educators are dedicated in their commitment to the optimal development of their children and young people through authentic and meaningful collaboration with them and their families: no small role in enabling competent, respectful and creative communities.

In this edition, it is timely to explore the concept of ‘diversity’ with our National Educational Leader’s articles. Throughout history, it is no small coincidence that the most successful, safe, creative and innovative societies have been those that both welcome and embrace diversity in their populations, and their peoples’ voices in decision making and representation in leadership roles.

And, as always, we include some updates and reminders for your role, including but not limited to training suggestions for the recognition, prevention and treatment of allergens, and sleep and rest requirements in outside school hours care.  

Please dip in and out of our articles as your professional role allows and, if you find them of interest, please share with your colleagues and families.

Gabrielle Sinclair

Cover artwork: "Fig Tree: Growth and Learning" by Natalie Bateman is an artwork that explores the historical and symbolic significance of trees, particularly in relation to children and education.