CELA invites NSW ECEC leaders to join innovative peer network
Community Early Learning Australia (CELA) has invited early education leaders in New South Wales to join a new Early Education Leaders Peer Network, which aims to beat the feelings of isolation often experienced by those in early childhood leadership roles in regional or rural areas, or those who do not have a network of peers to lean on for support and advice.
The initiative, announced yesterday, is open to new members until the end of June. Once joined, membership of the network includes access to a forum moderated by three Champions, chosen for their early childhood education expertise, as well as a vast repository of curated resources and access to free professional development opportunities.
Champions were selected from a wide range of applicants, and have been appointed for their wide range of experience in the sector and knowledge of governance. The Champions will govern the network and be integral to shaping a community that works with and for its members, and are listed below:
- Narelle Myers, Bermagui Preschool, Bermagui;
- Jannelle Gallagher, retired early childhood teacher and academic, Canberra, and
- Ashleigh Thomas, Busy Bees Long Day Care, Sydney.
CELA CEO, Michele Carnegie, explained that the Early Education Leaders Peer Network program – funded by the NSW Department of Education Early Education’s Sector Development Program – functions as an independent network for NSW educators in service based leadership roles such as Directors and Educational Leaders.
“While CELA has provided the foundations, opportunity and space for members to connect as a group, ideally the network will quickly find its own form,” she added.
“It is a particularly relevant initiative as leaders seek innovation and creativity to successfully lead teams while managing the complexity of an early education service.”
Core aims of the initiative include:
- connecting a group of people who share a concern or a passion and helping them to enhance practice together;
- helping leaders to feel supported and well-resourced to undertake their role, and
- ensuring leaders have the resources and knowledge to lead improvements in practice.
Membership of the Peer Network is free and voluntary to all early education leaders in NSW. Those participating in the three-month pilot will have access to a dedicated website with a member-only forum and an online resource library of information, research and tools.
Topical issues will be explored via mini-conferences and small events organised by CELA and the Champions based on areas of interest defined by the Network.
“A peer network model can identify common professional challenges and explore potential solutions through discussion forums, workshops, shared experience, expertise and information,” Ms Carnegie shared. “Examining the efforts of others in a cohort, discussing what works, and sharing every day inspirations can bring a sense of connectedness and help a group to advance together.”
The Network will be transferred to the NSW Department of Education to continue running the program from the 1st of July.
For further information about how to join the Peer Network to find out more including a link to join the Network, please visit the peer network website.