From the Director’s Desk – July 2016

Here at ECW, we are working to provide Education and Care practitioners with a range of publications and information that is accessible, authentic, realistic and practical. Our inaugural Showcasing Good Practice Journal is an exciting milestone for the Education and Care workforce and an opportunity to share the knowledge, skills and practice wisdom held by EC practitioners with colleagues across Australia.

Inside this quarterly journal is a narrative from Angela Albert and Carolyn Atkinson from Mackay Kindergarten and Preschool, Queensland, titled The Climbing Tree. This story showcases the passion, commitment and innovation of a team of EC practitioners to support and follow children’s interests; to tackle risk and benefit all whilst retaining the children’s connection with their environment. Our second good practice story comes from Janet Schluter at Kindermarlee in Landsborough, Queensland. Janet shares with us the services’ reflections on the structures of their day and how they moved to a place where children are supported to take risks; make considered choices and become responsible for their own mind, body and spirit.

As EC practitioners, we know how important nutrition is to the growing child. Our professional partner, Tot-Tok draws on current research to bring us an article on nutrition to help support children’s overall health and wellbeing. Our offerings to you do not stop here!

image-1Next, we take a look at professionalism in Education and Care. This is a topic that is at the heart of ECW and our vision for practitioners across Australia – for EC practitioners to be seen as professionals. Stephen Gallen’s article titled Professionalising Education and Care – Let’s make this actual work visible will assist us all to see the professional within and make the work we do visible. Following on, Wendy Shepherd inspires us to step up, be present in our work day and leave our slippers at home – no more languishing at work; re-ignite your passion; refocus and rediscover your purpose.

Then with Honorary Associate Professor, Alma Fleet we delve deeper into the world’s fascination with Reggio Emilia to discover what is at the heart of every thought, reflection, provocation and decision made by their practitioners. But wait! There’s more to come……

image-2Sustainability is on every EC practitioner’s lips. What does this look like? How do we do sustainability? Can we do sustainability or is it, like Reggio, not to be done but a way of being, thinking and engaging with others and our environments? Margaret Sear, an Early Childhood Educator for Sustainability (ECEfS) utilises the lens of consumerism – the materials we choose, how, why and where we source our resources and provisions – to look at sustainability in relation to our practices. In her article, Margaret considers the National Quality Standard, specific quality areas and elements and their correlation with our practices: our use, consumption and disposal of materials in our education and care environments.

I trust you enjoy this collection of good practice stories and articles from colleagues in the education and care field. I look forward to hearing from, and reading, your good practice story in future editions of our Showcasing Good Practice Journal.

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