Early Childhood Australia
The link that I chose to look into was http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/
In looking through their webpage, I found the link Research in Practice Series under Our Publications. The research in practice is a resource that offers “effective new approaches for those challenging issues which arise in the care and education of young children,” (Early Childhood Australia) and more focused on the hands on approach of early childhood. The ECA publications “draw and reflect on the national views and issues, including our strong commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, ethical practice and social justice” (Early Childhood Australia).
In looking at the website, an insight that I gained was the resources that they offered to the parents. There are four resources that are offered as of now as they continue to add to their resources are children’s health and nutrition, separation anxiety, transition to school, and sleeping.
- Health and nutrition– Learning about healthy lifestyles contributes to children’s sense of wellbeing and builds their confidence in themselves. Adults can help children learn about healthy eating, hygiene and how to keep fit and active. As children become more independent, they can take greater responsibility for their own health, safety and wellbeing. This ranges from healthy eating and physical activity, asthma and asthma management, baby and infant oral health, sun safety, and backyard safety.
- Separation anxiety– Separation anxiety is normal in early childhood and can occur when a child gets upset when separated from a parent or carer. This can happen when children are left with a new caregiver, or put to bed by themselves. From about six months old, most children begin to show distress when they are away from their parents or carers, as they don’t yet have a separate sense of self, so can feel a part of them is missing. While this can be worrying for parents and carers, it is normal for children to find the transition to childcare upsetting and it is important to remember the distress is often short-lived.
- Transition to School– Starting school can be stressful for children. The buildings are bigger, there are more children and they are the smallest in the playground. There are fewer adults and more rules which they don’t know and for many the classroom will be more formal. The link www.pbs.org/parents/education/going-to-school/starting-school/before-school-starts/ is a great link to help parents help their child to transition from child care to kindergarten and other grade levels.
- Sleeping– The first years of life for a child are the foundation for later growth, development and learning.
How much sleep do children need?
Birth to three months
- Newborns generally wake frequently, between one–three times hourly, needing a feed and attention.
- Sleep needs change quickly as they grow. Many babies sleep 14–20 hours a day in the first weeks.
- By six weeks, 25 per cent of babies are sleeping a straight five-hour stretch, not necessarily at night.
- By three months, most babies have longer times awake during the day and longer sleep times at night. At three months, babies go into a deep sleep more quickly than when they were younger.
Three to six months
- Some babies have two or three longish sleeps during the day, while others just have short naps.
- Some may sleep 12 hours without interruption; few manage eight hours. However, remember that five hours is considered a night’s sleep.
- Many wake fairly regularly, usually for food.
Six months to three years
- Some babies and toddlers sleep through the night.
- Many still wake, often more than once, at night.
- At two–three years, 41 per cent of young children are still waking once or twice a night, with a few waking more often.
Three to six years
- A wide range of sleep patterns is normal. If your preschool child is still waking at night, you are not alone!
- Most children need about 10–12 hours of sleep at night.
- Bedtimes vary a lot. Some children go to bed at 6.30 pm; others stay up until 9.30 pm or later. Often those who go to bed later wake up later.
- Young children may still need a daytime sleep as well, but by preschool age only a few are still having this.
Something noteworthy that I also found on this website is that they have a Every Child Magazine, newsletter, code of ethics, special titles, and webwatch under the publications. One thing that really stood out to me was children’s rights.
Child rights: the four key principles
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child consists of 54 articles and is guided by four fundamental principles:
1. Every child, everywhere (Article 1): Children should neither benefit nor suffer because of their race, color, gender, language, religion, national, social or ethnic origin, or because of any political or other opinion; because of their caste,property or birth status; or because they are disabled.
2. The best interests of the child (Article 3): Laws and actions affecting children should put their best interests first and benefit them in the best possible way. All adults should do what is best for children. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. This particularly applies to budget, policy and law makers.
3. Survival, development and protection (Article 6): Children have the right to live. The authorities in each country must protect children and help ensure their full development — physically, spiritually, morally and socially.
4. A voice (Article 12): Children have a right to have their say in decisions that affect them and to have their opinions taken into account. This does not mean that children can now tell their parents what to do. This Convention encourages adults to listen to the opinions of children and involve them in decision-making — not give children authority over adults. Article 12 does not interfere with parents’ right and responsibility to express their views on matters affecting their children. Moreover, the Convention recognizes that the level of a child’s participation in decisions must be appropriate to the child’s level of maturity. Children’s ability to form and express their opinions develops with age and most adults will naturally give the views of teenagers greater weight than those of a preschooler, whether in family, legal or administrative decisions.
Early Childhood Australia. http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/