ELAA encourages ECEC services to get involved in Early Learning Matters Week
The Early Learning Association of Australia (ELAA) has encouraged services to get involved in Early Learning Matters Week (ELMW), which will take place in the first week of September, showcasing the value of the early years in the life of a child.
(Main article image features educators from Explore & Develop North Ryde, NSW. Image courtesy of Early Learning, Everyone Benefits)
ELMW is run as an activity under the Early Learning Everyone Benefits national advocacy campaign of which ELAA is a partner.
The primary purpose of ELMW is to ensure the work being done by the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector is being showcased to the country’s politicians, highlighting its critical importance to the future of Australia’s children, and the economic and social prosperity of Australia.
The best way to demonstrate the value, ELAA said, is live – suggesting that services invite a federal politician to come and visit their service during ELMW.
“If our politicians understand the work we do, its value, and the challenges our sector faces then this sets our sector up for better advocacy outcomes on things like funding, access and regulation policy into the future.” ELAA said.
Any service proposing to host a politician should have staff and parents that would be welcoming of a visit by their relevant member of Federal Parliament; be confident about hosting the MP or Senator for an hour or so; and be capable of demonstrating contemporary quality approaches to early childhood education to the politician.
Ideally, the service should have an ACECQA ‘Exceeding’ rating, ELAA said, but this is not mandatory.
The visits should be “low key” and show the relevant politician the great work being done, ELAA said, adding “tell them anything special about your service, learning approach, community etc; and share any specific challenges your service may face if appropriate.” They went on to note that inviting parents or the local media would be welcome also.
The campaign website suggests the following activities, ideas and suggestions for participation in ELMW:
- Take photographs of the amazing learning and activities happening in services (without identifying children), add a descriptive caption, and post on social media using the hashtag #EarlyLearningMatters (examples of previous photos here)
- Encourage staff to participate
- Provide information for parents about how early learning supports them
- Work with other educators and craft a poster saying “Our Children Matter”, or “Early Learning Matters”
- Involve children in making the message “We Matter” with a range of materials, or paint as a poster.