Message from the Director

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2021.

As we send this newsletter out I am conscious that those of us in Victoria find ourselves in another COVID-19 lockdown. Over the last week we have engaged with many of our Victorian colleagues discussing the impact of another round of work and community restrictions, and remote learning for school-aged children, while early child education and care services remain open. The increasing pressure and uncertainty that is placed on ECE staffing and services is heightened by this recent, hopefully short, lockdown. These discussions bring into sharp focus the importance of the work of our Research Network of Early Childhood Professionals on Educator Wellbeing and our launch of the Supporting Children’s Wellbeing project – research priorities identified by the Network.

We are delighted to be able to share the initial findings from our Educator Wellbeing project via this newsletter and through a link to our Open Access paper in a special COVID-19 issue of the Early Childhood Education Journal. You will also find a link to the phase 2 educator wellbeing survey. Building on this research, we are now commencing the Children’s Wellbeing project to investigate child wellbeing in early childhood settings. There is an opportunity for a Network member to be involved in this project through a Melbourne Strategic PhD Scholarship. More information about the EOI and how to apply can be found in the newsletter.

I was pleased that many of you were able to join us in April for the inaugural Abecedarian Approach Australia (3a) Symposium. This symposium brought together key experts from 3a policy, research and practice in Australia and internationally. The 3a research brief link included in this newsletter provides a summary of findings from research undertaken in the Northern Territory.

I am pleased to share that the REEaCh Hub have been awarded the MGSE Award for Excellence in Industry-Engaged Research for our work with the Research Network of Early Childhood Professionals. I would also like to congratulate Dr Penny Levickis on her appointment to the Senior Research Fellow role at the REEaCh Hub. Penny had previously been in the post-doctoral role since 2019 when she returned from completing a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship in the United Kingdom. Penny is known for her research in adult-child interactions, the home learning environment, and family engagement with early childhood education services.

Finally, we are excited to announce that our next REEaCh Hub webinar will be delivered by Professor Nicola Yelland drawing on her Global Childhoods research. Nicola is the Professor of Early Childhood Studies in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Professor Yelland will draw on her Australian Research Council (ARC) project, Global Childhoods to explore the policy contexts, school experiences, and the everyday life-worlds of students in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. The link to register for this free online event can be found in the newsletter.

Professor Tricia Eadie