With around 80 presenters over the two-day program, this year’s Early Childhood Education Conference is highly relevant to early learning service managers (from standalone and EYM managed services) and Committee of Management members as well as teachers and educators. The changes to the NQS in 2018 have made it even more essential that managers and committees have a much deeper understanding regarding:
- community engagement
- educator networking and support
- working with other partners such as local government to improve services and outcomes for children
- research that supports the case for improved resourcing of our sector
- governance and risk management practices
Some of the essential sessions at this year’s Conference for service managers and Committee of Management members include:
Friday 25 May
Session A2: Professor Deborah Brennan (co-author of the Lifting Our Game Report). The Lifting Our Game Report is possibly one of the most important papers on Australia’s Early Childhood Education and Care sector in the past decade. Deborah’s session will summarise the latest research and policy trends in Australia’s early learning sector to address issues such as retaining quality early learning staff, delivering quality early learning programs, and improving Australia’s national performance in global education measures.
Session B2: Madeleine Smith (Executive Director of the Quality Assessment and Regulation Division of the Department of Education and Training in Victoria). Madeleine will discuss meaningful engagement with families and communities in the context of exceeding practice in the revised National Quality Standard … essential for meeting NQS areas 4, 6 and 7.
Session C4: Kathryn Vuarchoz & Joag Boag (VMIA) regarding insurance and risk management and Susie Rosback (CEO at Bubup Womindjeka Family and Children’s Service) on becoming an employer of choice. Both topics are essential for Committees of Management.
Saturday 26 May
Session D1: Shelli Hardwick (City of Wodonga) regarding Wodonga’s ‘No one left behind’ strategy (2017 Vic Early Years Awards Minister’s Award) which charts a way to ensuring the most vulnerable children in the community have access to children’s services. Wodonga is kicking goals in their investment in the early years and have really great ideas for other managers.
Session E5: Jen Jackson (ACER), Prof. Andrea Nolan (Deakin University) & Stephen Lamb (Victoria University) regarding ‘Building a supportive professional learning community’ and Megg Anderson (bestchance) & Prof. Helen Skouteris (Monash University) on ‘Establishing a Communities of Learning Framework among bestchance Early Childcare and Education educators’. These presentations together address areas 4 and 7 of NQS which include building collaborative and professional staff teams.
Session F4: Fitrilailah Mokui (Foundation Early Learning – Springbank Rise Early Learning Centre, Canberra) regarding promoting gratitude through community engagements and Fiona Topolcsanyi (Next Steps Early Learning Centre) on enabling the children in your service to form community connections through creative ideas and grant money. Community engagement is not just a job for Educators, it relies on the leadership and support of EYM’s and committees too.