TODAY: take action against bullying! Educate children and staff about positive behaviour
Education Council Chair, Minister Dan Tehan is encouraging all schools, outside school hours care, and early learning services to participate in today’s National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, with the Bullying. No Way! website providing useful educational tools for early childhood services.
“[Today] is an important day for all communities across Australia to show their commitment to work together and take action against bullying, Mr Tehan said.
The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence is delivered by Bullying. No Way!, a national initiative of the Education Council’s Safe and Supportive Schools (SSSC) Working Group. Bullying. No Way! is the trusted government authority on bullying, providing free quality resources on bullying prevention for schools and early childhood settings.
Recognising the day of action against bullying is important within the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector as young children develop their sense of belonging, social and emotional skills. A recent study in Canada found that two and three year old children who both bully and are themselves bullied are more likely to show signs of childhood depression, and are more likely to experience depression later in life.
Tips and resources for early childhood settings
The Bullying. No Way! website offers helpful information to those working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, stating that children between the ages of three and five years old are taking important steps in learning how to get along with each other, share and understand their feelings.
The website provides helpful information about:
- Typical social and emotional development for children at various ages
- How to teach social-emotional skills in everyday activities and experiences
- What to do if a child displays aggressive behaviour.
The Bullying. No Way! Initiative also includes the Allen Adventure app – a free interactive app designed to teach children from three to eight years of age about important social and emotional skills through the story of an alien who comes to earth and has to learn how to get on with other people.
Model positive relationships in the workplace
The Bullying. No Way! campaign highlights that parents, carers and early childhood educators are children’s first teachers about positive and healthy relationships, so it is important to model positive behaviour. This is backed by recent research from the University of New York and University of California Los Angeles provides evidence of the social and emotional development of children as early as five months of age being influenced by the interactions of the adults around them.
With 40.6 per cent of ECEC sector employees reporting that they have experienced bullying within the workplace during a recent Roy Morgan State of Work survey, the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence provides a good reminder to stop and think about appropriate workplace behaviour, and how it affects the children in your care.
Chair of the Safety Institute of Australia’s (SIA’s) think tank SIA College of Fellows Dr Kelly Johnstone has implored colleagues to contribute to a positive work environment: “We spend so much of our lives at work, and we need to pay more attention to the quality of that working environment, especially the right of all people to be treated with respect and be kept safe and healthy at work.
“It is not normal or acceptable for people to be treated this way, but too many people in the workplace have come to believe that these behaviours are normal and something they simply have to manage,” she said.
Minister Tehan said “I encourage…all communities to keep the Bullying. No Way! message going all year round. We all have a role to play.”