Tag Archives: Education

The Education and Care Services National Act

Article from The Australian here.

I had to check the date on that article – it is 4 April, not 1 April.

The act has been passed in Victoria, which is the host jurisdiction, and it’ll be rolled out to be passed in other states. Whether it’s done in the Territory, I don’t know. The problem with parts of this is the open-endedness of its directions which will undoubtedly be tested in cases.

Now, this isn’t a toothless law. There are fines in the thousands of dollars for breaches of the Act.

Children cannot be “required to undertake activities that are inappropriate, having regard to each family’s family and cultural values, age and physical and intellectual development”.

I can see that – not forcing children to participate in Christmas celebrations if they are not of the Christian faith, and not making Christmas cards or decorations, or writing a letter to Santa. No Easter bonnet parades, no Easter bunny, and so on. In fact, if one were to go completely potty about this, secular humanists’ and atheists’ children shouldn’t participate in that either. I guess that means my DD wouldn’t get to talk about Purim with Jewish classmates, either. (DD also likes Pesach and Hanukkah, for the record.)

Supervisors must “ensure that a child being educated and cared for by the service is not separated from other children for any reason other than illness or an accident”, the regulations state.

So, would that mean no more naughty corner? Well, at childcare centres where DD has gone, the child is always in sight of a carer, it’s only for a certain number of minutes, and the kid is usually making enough noise that nobody could forget about them. That is sensible – the child is always under supervision but they know they’re in trouble. I see that part of this section as being set up to stop unscrupulous carers from putting a child in a locked room as punishment, or to stop teachers from shoving a kid into the corridor for being disruptive, without ensuring there is supervision of that kid.

I imagine quite a few people see the entire act as political correctness gone mad. They may be right.

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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in children, News, School


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Window shopping

Well, when you’re stuck at home or in front of a computer, it’s more correct to call it something else.

I play at imaginary shopping. If it works for little kids, it should work for me. The difference is I don’t get a neat little shopping trolley and plastic baked goods and a tiny cash-free cash register and the opportunity to dress up in a hat and gloves.

For example, if I hadn’t forked out another $220 to the gardeners to remove two trees, dispose of rubbish and take away a slippery slide from my backyard, I would totally be buying these cool flash cards for young nerds. I reckon DD would enjoy them. This is the kid who wanted me to make a volcano in the kitchen, and keeps asking me what dirt is made of and how do you make a car in a factory and why do trees grow.

Apart from the cash issue and the fact that I am doing imaginary shopping only, the thing that would finally stop me from getting them is the ensuing new questions and the answers I’d have to revise.

Think about it. Mum, what’s covalent mean? What are magnetic poles? Why can’t I count in binary at school? What’s a degree and why does a triangle only get 180 of them but a square gets 360? That’s not fair!

In a way, imaginary shopping can save me money. By not buying these cards, I am not having to buy tablets to deal with the headache that would come from DD’s continuing questions. 🙂

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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Education


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What do little girls like?

I have to say that this opinion piece from The Sydney Morning Herald today disturbs me. It’s meant to disturb me, and it taps into several of my fears as a mother to a little daughter.

Shona Snowden asks What do we teach our little girls?

Their cheeks glow with all the health of peach blusher and their lips pout under sticky pink lip gloss.

They are five.

Only two years ago the hips clad in electric-blue hot pants were wrapped in layers of Huggies. The pale little midriffs gleaming beneath tasselled mini-brassieres felt only the softness of pure cotton and terry towelling. At night they still snuggle in cot beds with teddies and bunnies, with a night-light on; some with a reassuring nappy concealed under their pink pyjamas, a secret not shared with Miss and the Big Girls at dancing.

Please read the rest of it. It’s only short.

DD isn’t too keen on going to dance classes and is happy to do preschooler gym activities, more to her liking. But I suspect that sooner or later she’ll be enthusiastic about learning more about dance, maybe when she’s four or five, and I know that I’ll be pulled into that maelstrom called “Dance School”. It’s not the fussing about having a clean leotard and hair pulled back into a bun; it’s the choice of music, the dance moves that are meant for a girl many years older, and the concepts that many teenagers don’t manage well, let alone preschoolers.

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Posted by on December 2, 2008 in Child Development, Education, Life Matters


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