ACECQA Newsletter Issue 7 2015
Digital touch technologies such as tablets and smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. As educators we are sometimes concerned about children’s use of technology and the effects it may have. Educators need to be mindful that technology is a tool and the implications for children will depend on how we use it.
“Earlier this year Les Bursill, a Dharawal Elder, began visiting our service to introduce the children and educators to many aspects of Aboriginal culture, including Dharawal language, food, rites of passage and art,” Luisa said.
“I was keen to explore the idea of a yarning circle with Les as I understood that it’s traditionally used to share stories and discuss issues in an inclusive, respectful, collaborative way.
“The children at our service enjoy being involved in our yarning circle. They join the circle by finding their own name stone (belonging) and placing it in the basket. They then take turns, sharing information whilst holding a quartz rock sourced from our garden.
“Les’ knowledge and expertise enriches our learning program and helps us capture local Aboriginal knowledge and histories.
“I don’t think you can embed Aboriginal culture in a day, a week, or even one month. It must be ongoing in order to be authentic and meaningful.
“Our next goal is to connect with an Aboriginal community specifically in an early childhood setting. We would like to establish a relationship and share information through letters, emails and even skype if possible.”
Amanda Lockeridge, State Program Manager for Munch & Move at NSW Health, writes about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity for young children, on ACECQA's blog.
One in four Australian children are overweight or obese. Causes of obesity in children include unhealthy food choices and lack of physical activity.
We know that good nutrition and physical activity for young children are vital to support healthy growth and development, to prevent illness and to provide the energy children need to power through their day. It is also important to lay the foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle from a young age.
Read more on We Hear You.
Congratulations to the nominees of the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards. National winners were announced at the gala in Sydney last month and ACECQA spoke with family day care educator and finalist of the Rising Star Award, Geoffrey Schick.
For Geoffrey, the bond that he’s built with the children and families in his service in Gowrie Junction, Queensland is the most rewarding aspect of his work. With 12 months’ experience helping run the service, Geoffrey said he continues to learn every day.
“I think some families choose the family day care option because the children can learn and play in a small group, and in a home environment. We’re able to form strong relationships with the children and families and the children feel like they belong,” he said.
“It’s definitely a dynamic group. The children are really competent learners and it’s amazing to see their confidence develop as they communicate, learn new skills and take calculated risks.
“There’s a big outdoor area which includes a sand pit, swings, mud kitchen, bike track, vegetable garden, space for chickens, the cat and two dogs.
“From picking pumpkins, collecting eggs, helping in the garden and building things in the shed, there’s always a task that they can help me with. I’ve received some positive feedback from the parents, which is rewarding and our service provider is enthusiastic and offers loads of encouragement.”
Toni Miles’ daughter attends the service and she thinks the educators have created a wonderful environment.
“Geoff showed my prep-aged daughter how to use power tools, sand, paint and drill things on to an old pallet to make a busy board,” Toni said. “She was so very proud and confident in her ability.
“She told me that night about the steps taken to make her safe and to make sure it was strong.
“Geoff really has a knack for encouraging the children to extend themselves but also giving them the skills to gauge the risks involved.”