In this issue of Every Child, editor Jackie Brien reflects on opportunities and potential. She sees in the content of the magazine great possibilities for the sector, including promoting children’s agency in play and learning, improving quality and equity in outcomes for young children and families experiencing disadvantage and raising the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Capping off Every Child’s celebration of 2022 as the ECA’s Year of Play, Honor Mackley introduces us to the learning opportunities provided by ‘tinkering’—‘unstructured experimentation, investigation and discovery through processes of making and creating’—with traditional play materials (e.g. playdough) and ‘unplugged technologies’—‘non-operational and disconnected’ tech parts (e.g. keyboards, mice, game controllers).
The issue contains many important articles on the work that ECEC centres and schools can and are doing to improve the wellbeing of children and their families. Fiona Forman continues her two-part series on supporting children’s emotional wellbeing (Part 1 appeared in the previous issue of Every Child). Here she discusses what educators can do to help children downregulate negative emotions and upregulate positive emotions in the classroom. Professor Karen Thorpe tells readers about her ongoing work dedicated to improving outcomes for young children through equitable, affordable and available ECEC during the first five years (10,000 hours) of children’s lives. Reporting from the front line of ECEC, Penny Levickis, Lisa Murray and Jane Page reveal children’s and their families’ experience of ECEC during the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria. They urge that now more than ever, governments need to invest in the ECEC workforce and improve the messaging around the important work they do.
There is also much to ponder in the advocacy space in this issue. Joanne Goulding discusses SNAICC’s new THRYVE initiative, which helps empower and grow Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to provide high-quality ECEC to children and their families. ECA’s Amy Duncan promotes understanding of children living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the light of new resources co-developed by ECA and NOFASD Australia. The project’s poster, brochure, guide and videos are designed to heighten awareness of the disorder and how educators can help children and their families living with FASD.
On the lighter side, the team at Rose Garden Kids in Tooradin, Victoria, share with readers their recent concert experience with children’s entertainers The Teeny Tiny Stevies—the result of the service winning a contest sponsored by OneMusic Australia. Photos taken on the day show the joy and wonder of the children and the delight of the performers in bringing their unique brand of entertainment to the children. The staff reflect on how the Stevies’ music and its messages result not just in fun but in rich learning for children.
Finally, as we prepare to transition to a new year, the Australian Education Research Organisation’s (AERO) Dr Jen Jackson and Emily Greaves discuss transitions from outside school hours care (OSHC) to school—something many children do every school day. The authors stress the continuity and stability children in OSHC experience and links OSHC with several national ECEC frameworks and standards.
We hope this issue of Every Child inspires and entertains!