The first issue of Every Child for 2022 looks forward to both the challenges and opportunities the new year brings. Editor Julie Rutups suggests that we attend conferences (especially the upcoming ECA National Conference) to ‘take a break from the routine, be sociable and have fun’, while Lisa Murray and her colleagues advocate for changes to educators’ working conditions to relieve some of the burdens and pressures of the profession, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this issue of Every Child, editor Jackie Brien welcomes the new Labor government’s focus on early childhood education and care (ECEC), but highlights workforce sustainability as an ongoing challenge. One mitigation strategy, writes Susan Callaghan, is to communicate to children, families and school educators the joy of working in the sector.
The magazine also addresses pressing social and environmental issues. Dan Leach-McGill outlines Early Childhood Australia’s policy priorities to ensure that every young child is thriving and learning. Mikayla King writes about the importance of keeping an open mind, communicating and learning from children and families when working alongside Aboriginal families. Rowena Muir describes how children in her service combine learning about First Nations cultures with caring for their local environment. Children’s active engagement with the environment is also the subject of an article by Melanie Elderton, Su Garrett and Kathy Gelding.
This issue also contains several important articles on pedagogy and practice in ECEC settings. Kathryn Albany discusses how Key Word Sign can assist the emerging COVID-19 generation of children to build self-confidence and resilience. The resilience of children whose learning the pandemic has interrupted is also the theme of an article by Catharine Hydon and Zora Marko on teaching road safety to young children. Dr Rosalind Walsh demonstrates how a Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) program can inspire a love of books and reading even in the youngest, literacy-learning children. Dr Jen Jackson shows how educators can embed the science of learning and development into their everyday practice.
Finally, this issue of Every Child contains crucial advice for educators and parents/carers. The Be You team highlights the importance of ECEC educators maintaining good mental health and wellbeing in the face of stress. Alistair Gibbs advocates for mindful leadership and provides several tips and strategies to achieve this. Finally, and continuing Every Child’s celebration of ECA’s Year of Play, Jo Grimmond introduces a new web-based resource, Play and Learn Together, which helps families to introduce play in the home using everyday household materials and routines.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Every Child and take inspiration from its many insights.