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    Books, kits and other resources posted in 2007

    Building Relationships between Parents & Carers in EC

    Posted July 2007: Building Relationships Between Parents And Carers In Early Childhood, By Sarah Wise (AFRC Briefing No. 5)

    Harmony between the way that parents and early childhood professionals raise children is an important dimension of child care quality aimed at enhancing child wellbeing. The foundation for this harmony is positive and trusting relationships between the two parties. Yet, research conducted at the Australian Institute of Family Studies and elsewhere suggests that carers do not always initiate practices to share caregiving information with parents, and that conflict with parents in matters of children’s care are commonplace, particularly in culturally diverse early childhood settings. The current paper outlines several strategies that professionals may employ to support and strengthen parent/carer partnerships.

    Resource for use with children aged 0-3 years

    Posted July 2007: Release of a toolkit to support practitioners and parents in the understanding and support of children’s development in the first 3 years of life.

    The Foundations for Families: 0-3 framework toolkit comes with:
    A toolkit of information, ideas and resources
    Removable easy-reference information cards
    Literature Review
    Additional information
    A DVD
    5 x Posters
    The pack and training is free for parents and practitioners in the Kingston, Loganlea and Waterford West region. It is available for practitioners and parents who are outside the Kingston, Loganlea and Waterford West region at a cost recovery price (see brochure).

    The Foundations for Families: A Birth to Three Framework of Effective Practice, has been created as an interdisciplinary framework to support practitioners and parents in the understanding and facilitating of development of children aged 0-3 years. The framework aims to support practitioners in health, early education & care, foster care, family support, playgroups etc. It can also be used to support parental understanding of child development.

    The framework is the culmination of 2 years worth of research around development of children under 3 years and how best to support it. The Foundations for Families framework has been funded through the Australian Government’s Communities for Children funding and the Telstra Community Fund. The framework lead by the Salvation Army has been a collaborative venture which has included health, early childhood education and care, human services, community and academics from Griffith University, QUT, the NCAC, practitioners & parents.

    For more information please call Geraldine Harris on 07 32905200 or email Geraldine.harris@aue.salvationarmy.org

    Foundations for Families: a birth to three framework of effective practice
    Supporting the Best Start in Life for Children

    This program has been proudly supported by Australian Government's Communities for Children Initaitive (Kingston, Loganlea & Waterford West), The Telstra Foundation & the Salvation Army


    September 2007: Australia’s first play-based anti-anxiety program for 4-6 year-olds was launched in Brisbane on August 10. The Fun Friends program has been developed by Dr Paula Barrett, an Adjunct Professor of the School of Education at the University of Queensland and founder of the Pathways Health and Research Centre at Brisbane’s West End.

    Dr Barrett says the Fun Friends program is aimed at building social, emotional and coping skills – resilience -- in children. “I strongly believe that if every Prep child in Queensland has the chance to do this program, it will make the transition to Year 1 very easy,’’ Dr Barrett said.

    Dr Barrett said Fun Friends was also aimed at preventing anxiety in preschool, Prep and Year 1 children and reducing bullying.
    “Research shows as many as 20 per cent of preschool children show signs of emotional and behavioural disturbance,’’ Dr Barrett said.

    “We know one in five kids is going to be prone to anxiety, and by mid-primary school a percentage of these will be showing signs – social anxiety, separation anxiety, generalised anxiety, stomach aches, headaches, difficulty getting to sleep or early morning waking. “If these kids don’t get help, almost surely by years 11 or 12 or the beginning of university, they are going to be depressed because anxiety in primary school is the greatest risk factor for depression in late adolescence.

    “Fortunately, the rapid development of preschool children allows for effective treatment aimed at both prevention and intervention.’’ Dr Barrett said Fun Friends was successfully trialled in 28 Queensland state and private preschools in 2005.

    “”Fun Friends is play-based and inquiry based, with fun games and activities,’’ she said. “It will reduce behaviour problems and maximise learning.

    “”Investment in children’s social and emotional learning is the best investment the government can make. “’It will cost the government less in peer difficulties and bullying in class.’’

    Dr Barrett received a 2007 Australian Achievement Award from Brisbane’s Lord Mayor for outstanding services in the community for families and children and her work in preventing many anxiety conditions that may otherwise lead to youth suicide. According to the latest figures, about 2500 Australians commit suicide each year. Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians aged 10-34.

    Fun Friends is an off-shoot of the Friends for Life program developed by Dr Barrett for primary and early high school environments. “Friends for Life is the only anxiety-prevention program for children recognised by the World Health Organisation,’’ she said.

    “Friends for Life is being used in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Finland, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Portugal, Spain and Mexico.
    “By the end of this year, more than 500,000 children will have completed the Friends program.’’

    • (.pdf 111K) - Adapted from Professor Paula Barrett’s Friends for Life program and designed specifically for four, five and six year old children, Fun Friends teaches emotional resilience that will stay with young children for life.

      FUN FRIENDS helps children cope with feelings of fear, worry, and depression by building resilience and self-esteem and teaching cognitive, behavioural, and emotional skills in a simple, well-structured format.

      By attending this one-day training workshop you can become a FUN FRIENDS Facilitator enabling you to introduce and maintain
      an ongoing FUN FRIENDS program in your early childhood centre or clinical practice.

    Indigenous Education Website

    Posted July2007:
    Children and young people are important. They are the living message we send to a time we will not see.

    The Department of Education, Training and the Arts recently launched a new Indigenous Education website. This site outlines current policy, priorities and school based initiatives for Indigenous education within Queensland State schools.

    2007 Presentations - powerpoint and text resources

    • Disability Support Unit (.ppt 164k)
    • Spina Bifida (.pdf 1.50M)
    • Graphically illustrated presentation. - (.pdf 1.38M) The effects of early environments on human development: Lessons from the integrated science of early child development.
      Professor Deborah Phillips, Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University

      Behavioural and brain development follow hierarchical rules such that later attainments build on foundations that are laid down earlier. Early experiences have a uniquely powerful influence on the development of cognitive capacities, social skills, emotional well-being, and health; the capacity to change our life trajectories in both positive and negative directions is retained through-out our lives, but is highest earlier in life and decreases over time. Implications for public investments that will reap benefits for the workplace of the 21st century, for communities, and for the next generation of children will be discussed.

    Taking the Child Friendly Challenge

    Posted July 2007: This year's National Child Protection Week theme is 'Take the Child Friendly Challenge' and we are calling on everyone to get active and make your community Child Friendly.. places that provide children with opportunities for optimal growth and development: socially, emotionally, culturally and spiritually. For more information about how to build Child Friendly Communities, please visit the NAPCAN website at www.napcan.org.au or our Child Friendly Australia website at www.childfriendly.org.au.
    The NAPCAN QLD Team
    preventing child abuse - before it starts

    Early childhood volunteer required in Thailand

    July 2007: Hello ECTA,
    I'm hoping you can help me. I work for a government funded volunteering agency, and we are looking for an Early Childhood Educator to go on a short term assignment in Thailand, to work with Burmese refugees. I thought this might be an opportunity your members would be interested in, and perhaps you could email it to them, or post it on the "PD Opportunities" pages of your website? Your help would be much appreciated! Details below:

    WANTED! Early Childhood/Special Needs educator to volunteer in Thailand for 6 months Australian Business Volunteers (ABV) helps small businesses and organisations in developing countries to increase their skills. In this practical way we help reduce poverty and create sustainable development. ABV is largely funded by the Australian aid program, through AusAID. We have a volunteer position available in Northern Thailand working with a non-profit women's group that assists Burmese refugees. The group run a preschool, and require assistance to review Early Childhood Development strategies and frameworks in the context of refugees. The volunteer will assist staff with curriculum development, teacher training, and improving systems. The volunteer should have qualifications and experience in Early Childhood, including education of children with learning difficulties (such as children from difficult circumstances, ethnic children, disabled children, etc). At least 2 years experience in a management / coordinating role, ideally with experience in research and organizational development would be advantageous.

    The selected volunteers would have all flights, accommodation and allowances provided. If you are interested in applying for volunteer registration, please contact me and I can send you more information about this assignment. For information on ABV, visit our website at

    We are very keen to help this organisation - they provide much needed educational opportunities to an extremely marginalised population. We currently have no registered volunteers who are able to undertake this assignment, and have exhausted all other opportunities. Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Rebecca Redden
    Volunteer Manager
    Australian Business Volunteers
    PO Box 25 ,
    Deakin West, ACT, 2600
    tel: (61 2) 6162 7611 - direct
    (61 2) 6285 1686 - switchboard
    fax: (61 2 ) 6285 1424
    Email: Rebecca.redden@abv.org.au
    Internet: www.abv.org.au