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Reflections Magazine : Reflections Issue 59 Winter 2015
3 REFLECTIONS • GOWRIE AUSTRALIA • WINTER 2015 - ISSUE 59 Dear Colleagues, Welcome to the Autumn issue of Reflections. In this issue we celebrate professional learning, reflective practice and diversity. Staff from Gowrie SA share the thinking and investigations that have informed their projected plans for use of the Long Day Care Professional Development Program funding. They view this one-off funding as a unique and valuable opportunity for higher level learning for educators and staff in the early childhood sector. In the second featured article, Joanna Cooper and Sabrina Klepp describe the Professional Support Co-ordinator Alliance Self Assessment tool and its value in supporting educators to examine the strengths and identify the gaps in their practice in the context of the Quality Improvement Plan. In support of high quality education and care practice, Gowrie Australia has developed and launched a program in support of ongoing learning - "Theory into Practice" . Contact your local Gowrie centre for more details or view a description of this program at http://tinyurl.com/theoryintopractice Educator, Jessica Home-Kennedy recounts how ongoing studies have inspired her to use the elements of narrative and storytelling to examine her own identity, beliefs and her early childhood practice, and invites readers to join her in this reflective journey. Elijah was born blind and his story, introduced by early years leader Jenna Kwon Sinkey, will inspire all educators to examine and review their philosophies on inclusion and embracing diversity. In a similar account, parent Marie Littlewood tells the story of how caring, knowledgeable educators have supported her family and given her son Heath an opportunity to lead a fulfilling life. Emma Pierce, a Project Officer with Early Childhood Intervention, discusses transition to school for children with disabilities and the importance of everyone involved in a child's life working in partnership. Over the last few months Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) has figured prominently in the media. The recent announcements by the Federal Government relating to investment in the education and care sector were welcomed. Two examples of the Government's response to advocacy by the sector, and indeed, the broader community, include funding to continue Universal Access beyond the current period, and the announcement of the Nanny Pilot, to trial services for families for whom mainstream ECEC services are unsuitable. While any investment in the education and care sector is welcomed, the requirements for the nanny educator to hold only a first aid certificate and working with children registration, without any qualification, is disappointing, particularly given the Government's ongoing commitment to the quality agenda. The research is clear -- qualifications matter! Given that this edition includes several articles focusing on children with additional needs, it is unacceptable to imagine such a child in the care of an individual without the knowledge, experience or skills to provide the appropriate environment and rich experiences to support that child's development. This view is further exacerbated by the educator working in isolation in a home, without the immediate support of a peer professional. By the time this edition reaches readers, the Federal budget will be known, including the Government's position on the child care subsidy package, the activity test, and other recommendations from the Productivity Commission Report which the Government will adopt. Regardless of the outcome, it is imperative that all children are central to decision making, and quality is not compromised. Ros Cornish & Jane Bourne on behalf of Gowrie Australia. editorial contents Planning for Professional Learning 4 Professional Learning ... a new way forward 8 Understanding Our Sense of 'Being' 10 Embracing Diversity 14 Back Cover - National & International Conference Updates 20 "Kindness Begets Kindness" 16 Starting School for Children with Disabilities 18 Access an e-copy of Reflections at: www.gowrie-brisbane.com.au www.gowriesa.org.au www.gowriensw.com.au www.gowrie-tas.com.au www.gowrievictoria.org.au www.gowrie-wa.com.au Natalie Grenfell -- Gowrie NSW Andrew Hume -- Gowrie Victoria Jane Bourne -- The Gowrie (QLD) Inc Kaye Colmer -- Gowrie SA Tonia Westmore -- The Gowrie (WA) Inc Ros Cornish -- Lady Gowrie Tasmania GOWRIE CEOs
Reflections Issue 58 Autumn 2015
Reflections Issue 60 Spring 2015