Thousands Of Childcare Staff Set To Walk Off The Job, Another Display Of A Fractured System

Thousands of childcare workers are set to walk out of their centres at lunchtime today, protesting over what they say are despicably low wages.

Hundreds of centres are set to close around lunchtime today as the industry’s biggest national strike action is set to take place. Around 7,000 workers are set to leave their centres and embark on a protest march for better pay and improved working conditions.

United Voice, the childcare industry’s union said in a statement that the actions of childcare workers today are political, the rallies are to send a message straight to government. The political rallies across the country today are seeking to send a strong message to policy makers, they need to address the industry’s current wage crisis. For too long they say it has been ignored, they will keep marching until their concerns are acknowledged and addressed.

Helen Gibbons, United Voice’s assistant national secretary, weighed in on the rallies and walk out slated for today, saying, ““Australia’s educators must have qualifications, yet they earn as little as $22 an hour and are some of the lowest paid professionals in the country. Time is up on these appalling wages,”

“Between now and election day there will be 100,000 educators talking to millions of Australian parents about how this government has failed educators on equal pay.”

Serious words from an industry that has been reeling from long waiting lists, rising childcare costs and a new subsidy program.

Arguably changes need to be made in the childcare and long day care sectors. Additional options for child-care may be an avenue that the government needs to pursue as it navigates the next stages in this call for change.

The strike action is predicted to affect around 40,000 parents that have been advised to either pick their children up from the centre early or make alternative arrangements.

The actions and protest that are coming today mark the fourth wave of protests that have been enacted in just over 18 months, a clear sign of an industry that needs significant examination, care and policy adjustment.

The trend of children starting school early and what research has to say about it.

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531191076857{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]A concerning trend has started to emerge in Australia. New research is stating that an increasing amount of Australian children are being enrolled in school at younger ages than is officially required.

Understandably, in light of the substantial financial burden of childcare costs being felt, many parents are finding that their only option is to enrol their child or children in school early so as to avoid the increasing unaffordability of childcare. Reports have been emerging that when questioned parents identify cost of childcare are the most pivotal factor in their decision of when to start the school journey for their children.

Yet studies from around the world are providing insight into the optimal time for a child to start school and it certainly isn’t early.

Many school systems around the world are finding significant success with pupils beginning school as late as 8 years old.

A study conducted by academics at the University of Stanford found that children whose parents delayed enrolling them in kindergarten by one year, at 6 years of age instead of 5, displayed higher scores on tests of self-control by the ages of 7 and 11 years old.

Self control is known by psychologists as “executive function” and is arguably one of the core traits children are encouraged to practice and exhibit in their early years. Linked to “executive function” has been the ability of children to time manage well and sustain focus even in the face of significant distractions.

Thomas Dee and Hans Henrik Sievertsen in a recent study conducted, used the Danish National Birth Cohort study to collect data on the mental health and wellbeing of a large sample of children. These researchers found striking evidence in favour of delaying a child’s school starting date. Testing at ages 7 and 11, children who commenced kindergarten a year later than their peers were found to have 73% better scores on tests when it came to hyperactivity and inattention four years down the track.

While the studies coming out of prestigious universities and research centres are compelling, there is much still to be done to make it possible for Australian families to act and thrive upon these findings. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Why STEM subjects are important in our schools and in our lives

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1530846765850{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]STEM is a buzzword that has a lot of traction in places like Silicon Valley and the halls of MIT but to many parents and kids it is a foreign term. It is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Science and mathematics are subjects that are regularly seen in primary schools but technology and engineering are often lacking in the main school curriculum.

STEM concepts are regularly taught through coursework but it is important to appreciate that these concepts exhibit themselves in our lives everyday. From paying for groceries at the supermarket, erecting a shelf at home, cooking up a souffle or evaluating the weather, maths, engineering, science and technology play huge roles in our day to day.

Starting the conversation with our children about these concepts and allowing them to engage with them can be an exciting time for their minds and imaginations. From coming to understand the problem behind burnt toast and heat to how germs are spread and washing hands, allowing our kids to delve into and deconstruct the world around them can not only save you a headache but spark a lifelong interest they could pursue.

Involving them in the following basic activities can be the foundation to them going on to be interested in geology, biology, AI and a myriad of other studies that are rapidly changing our world.

Your kids can be easily engrossed in the following tasks:

Baking and cooking – using this process you will be able to explain about nutritional benefits of certain foods, heat dynamics, time management and the properties of gas and/or electricity to name a few.

Musical instruments – many experts say playing an instrument does wonders for the neurological development of children (even adults, so if you want to pick up the violin finally?). Learning an instrument draws upon and evokes many skills from mathematics, reading and collaboration to sound analysis and fine motor skills.

Using appliances at home

This can be a scary one for many parents, allowing kids to use the microwave, oven and stove can be tricky areas but with suitable supervision it can be done safely. Allowing your child to operate and manage these areas can give them a sense of responsibility, awareness and initiative. It can also provide the opportunity to teach about the concept of time, the mechanics of appliances, electricity, heat and its consequences (yes you might have to sacrifice an egg to its charred end). Through allowing them to manage these areas they grow their curiosity for the physical and invisible processes around them and be an engaged human in their world. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]