Welcome to my blog about my experiences working in early childhood. I have called it Nurturing Forests because I believe that raising children is not a isolated activity but takes a whole community.

As early childhood professionals, we are actively involved in this process but we also need to work closely with the children, parents, community as a whole and other allied professionals.

I hope you enjoy my site. I also have a facebook site of the same name where I provide links to useful sites for teachers, parents and others interested in the early childhood: www.facebook.com/nurturingforests

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Update from NIFTeY meeting

I attended the NSW National Investment in the Early Years meeting this morning and thought I would provide an update of what's happening in Early Childhood Education and Care Sector.

Tonia Godhard reported on yesterday's meeting of key stakeholders with the new minister Adrian Piccoli.
The key points were:
- the sector now falls under the Department of Education
- the department will not be using the term 'child care' but rather Early Childhood Education and Care in recognition of this move.
- there will be a clear separation from child protection
- there will be no pushdown curriculum from the schools
- the separate Directorate for Children's Services will be headed by John Mason (who reports to Lesley Loble, Deputy Director-General Strategic Planning and Regulation).
-Department of Education preschools will remain under the Education Directorate
- the Minister is committed to the National Quality Framework but is concerned about the current reliability and validity of the tools.
- He also is committed to the 1 to 4 babies ratio and the introduction of 1 to 5 for 2-3 year olds as scheduled in NQS
- for preschools, he is aware of problems with RAM funding model and affordability and will establish a departmental review. He advised preschools to enroll for 2012 as they normally would as changes will not occur til 2013
- the teacher contribution scheme will commence in July but may not be ongoing.
- he is aware the sectors concern regarding the lack of consultation and is committed to improving this.

Other matters raised:

Children's Week
- will soon have a website up and running (will provide link when have it)
- as the trademark is now registered, it will now be necessary to register your event if you want to use logo and title
- there will be promotional posters available on the website

Working with children checks
- we discussed the need to move to a national streamlined system.

The NIFTeY conference is coming in July - it has a great line up if you are able to make it. The link is http://www.nifteyconference.com/

The grandparent carer initiatives from the government
- there will be an introduction of peer support networks
- grandparent advisors in some centrelink offices
- high density of grandparent carers on coast
- grandparent care provision for children during the day is underrecognised
- I will provide links to a number of reports when distributed if anyone is interested in reading further.

National Commissioner for Children and Young People
- senate enquiry underway. Report due August

Cultural competence issues:
- Reconciliation week is this week
- NAIDOC week early July
- important to engage local aboriginal organisations and actively engage with the issues and the community
- there is also Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's day
- I will provide links to relevant websites when provided.

That the bulk of it and I will forward around the details for reports, websites and so on as soon as I have them.

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