Saturday, March 31, 2012

Research Around the World

I explored Early Childhood Australia: A Voice for Young Children at http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/

 Many of the topics that are featured on the website are issues that are also important in America.  These topics include:
  • Breastfeeding
  • Care of Infants 
  • Child Care – Work Related/Work Based 
  • Children and the Mass Media 
  • Children of Asylum Seekers 
  • Cultural Diversity 
  • Gender Equity 
  • Guidelines for Consulting with Children 
  • Inclusion of Children 
  • Information Technology and Children 
  • Integrated Services 
  • Language and Literacy 
  • Physical Environments for Centre-Based Early Childhood Services 
  • Professional Development, Training and Support of Early Childhood Personnel
At the beginning of 2012, Australia’s new policy on early childhood education began an eight year implementation.  The first mandate was to set the ratio of children under the age of 24 months to 4:1.  In addition, childcare staff must have certain qualifications.  The reform is a result of the multitudes of studies which show that the first five years of life are integral to the healthy development of the child. 

However, the Australian Childcare Alliance states that these new ratios have caused problems for many childcare facilities.  Qualified caregivers are hard to find at an affordable wage.  Some childcare centers are raising tuition or are closing.  On the contrary, the director of Early Childhood Australia claims that the new mandates are not too costly and should only cost about $3 a day per child.  She states the new rules will not only benefit children, but make the profession more attractive to job seekers.

Something that surprised me about this website was the statement of regret issued to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.  The position statement issued by the group “acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the original inhabitants of Australia and recognises their culture as part of the cultural heritage of all Australians.”  I imagine this situation may be similar to the Native Americans in the United States. 

Overall, I was very impressed with the information found on this website.  The topics and issues see very familiar to those in the United States.   I particularly liked the links to hundreds of free fact sheets and articles for supporting best practices.  Here is the direct link to the page: http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/supporting_best_practice/supporting_best_practice.html

2 comments:

Kathryn Price said...

Christine,
I also took a look at the Early Childhood Australia website. I was impressed by the amount of resources and articles that it provided for readers. The best practices heading also caught my attention. I was sure to click and read many of the articles that were available. I liked reading the resilience section especially the coping articles. I enjoyed this assignment and learning about more international websites.

Kathryn Price said...

Christine,
I also took a look at the Early Childhood Australia website. I was impressed by the amount of resources and articles that it provided for readers. The best practices heading also caught my attention. I was sure to click and read many of the articles that were available. I liked reading the resilience section especially the coping articles. I enjoyed this assignment and learning about more international websites.