As part of a $53 million Mental Health in Education program, announced by the Turnbull government, three-year-olds in childcare and students from preschool and kindergarten upwards will be taught about suicide awareness and mental health.
Early Childhood Australia CEO Sam Page said helping to develop resilient children who were aware of their emotions and mental health could have a real impact in preventing them from being at risk of suicide later on in life.
“If we teach all children how to name their emotions, how to feel sad and how to recover from that ... then we are more likely to have reduced instances of depression and that in turn will reduce the number of children trying to suicide,” Ms Page said.
While the word “suicide” won’t be used directly with three-year-olds, discussions around feelings of “not wanting to be here” or “wanting to die” could be addressed in the right context.
Health Minister Greg Hunt will announce teachers from childcare through to Year 12 will be provided additional mental health and suicide training in their university degrees or VET education.
Those already teaching will undergo additional online and face-to-face training to better improve the discussion with children around the issue.
The program will be run by Beyond Blue in partnership with Early Childhood Australia and Headspace.
It will begin early next year with two-thirds of all schools to be involved — 2000 Early Learning Services and 6000 schools — by June 2019.
Rudd, Matilda (2017), Three Year Olds Discuss Suicide Awareness, Daily Mail Australia
From the 01 July 2017, the Fair Work Commission has announced a 3.3% increase in minimum wages. The increase will apply to base rates of pay from the first full pay period starting on or after 01 July 2017.
From 01 Feb 2018, a revised NQS will be introduced to help clarify how quality is rated in education and care services.
ACECQA is very concerned that some educators with first aid certificates are not trained in medical emergencies, due to the fact that dodgy training colleges are handing out qualifications to incompetent students.
NSW Early Childhood Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the state government would “use the full extent of the law’’ to deal with dodgy childcare qualifications.
“Services and individuals that have submitted fraudulent documentation will be investigated and can be prosecuted,’’ she said.
All staff in family daycare, and at least one carer in each long daycare centre, must be trained in first aid, anaphylaxis and asthma management.
“A situation where a student has completed one qualification and is incorrectly deemed competent, could present a serious and significant risk to children being educated and cared for,’’ ACECQA warns in a submission to the Department of Education and Training.
“A failure of graduates to properly administer first aid to children in their care in times of emergency carries a high risk to children and could have life-threatening consequences.’’
Childcare centres have also complained about qualified educators who do not possess the basic literacy skills expected of them. ACECQA criticised the poor English skills of some educators and calls for mandatory literacy tests before students graduate.
It has been demanded by The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) of private daycare centres to the Federal Education Department to take “bold action’’ against training colleges that fail to properly train staff.
“The very nature of the industry evolves around very young and, as such, vulnerable children who are reliant on the competency and skills of their educators,’’ it said.
Bita, Natasha (2017), Kids Lives At Risk In Childcare First Aid Fail, Daily Telegraph,
NSW Health has issued an alert for an outbreak of measles in South Western and Western Sydney.
Three infants and a young adult from the western Sydney region, and a young adult from Queensland who spent time in far northern NSW, have contracted the disease.
Of the cases, the three were infants were too young to be vaccinated and the adult could not remember their vaccination status. One infant acquired the disease from a previously reported case.
It is important for everyone to ensure that they have received at least two doses of measles containing vaccine (MMR). Infants and young children are vaccinated with measles containing vaccine at 12 months and 18 months of age. Older children and adults born during or after 1966 should ensure that they have been vaccinated with two doses of vaccine. The Measles vaccine is free, so please make sure you visit you local GP and make sure you have had the recommended 2 doses.
Symptoms of measles include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body.
People with measles symptoms should seek medical advice as soon as possible, stay home from work or school, and limit other activities to avoid exposing other vulnerable people, such as infants, to the infection.Children shold be excluded for 4 days after the onset of the rash
For more information in regards to signs, symptoms and prevention of measles, read: Measles
There is an urgent recall regarding EpiPen 300 Batches, following consultation with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
The urgent recall is for 4 batches of EpiPen 300 with the following batch numbers and an expiry of Apr 17:
No other batches of EpiPen, including the EpiPen Jr 150 microgram version, are thought to be affected, the TGA said.
This recall is due to the potential that these devices may contain a defective part that may result in the device failing to activate or requiring increased force to activate.
If the EpiPen fails to activate it may result in life threatening adverse events as the underlying anaphylaxis will not be treated.
If you have an Epipen with one of the above batch numbers you will need to replace it with a new one as soon as possible by returning it to your pharmacist, who will replace it with an EpiPen 300 from a different batch FREE OF CHARGE.
For more information please read the following: EpiPen 300 Recall
On Wednesday March 8 (International Woman's Day), at 3:20pm, childcare educators across Australia are set to walk off the job to protest pay rates and draw attention to the large pay gap between male and female dominated professions.
Childcare union United Voice has a long-running wage case in the Fair Work Commission, arguing that the 97 per cent female workforce is underpaid for working in a “pink collar” sector.
United Voice says some are being paid as little as $20 an hour, which is half the average national average and significantly less than workers in male-dominated professions with comparable skills and qualifications.
Government frontbencher David Gillespie said the strike wouldn’t be welcomed by many mums and dads. “I don’t think it will endear them to a lot of the parents who have pretty busy and complex work arrangements,” the assistant health minister told ABC TV.
Pay rate decisions are from the Fair Work Commission, he added.
Childcare In Australia Is Getting A Big Shake Up,2017,News.com.au
From March 13th, there will be changes within Family Day Care services, which will include new maximum rates and age limits for children accessing child care fee assistance.
The educational Ministers throughout Australian states and territories have agreed to changes to the National Quality Framework.
This morning, Senator Leyonhjelm went on Sunrise to face the backlash he had received over the comments he made during the interview on The Project.
Sunrise presenter Mon told Mr Leyonhjelm that he caused backlash overnight because he had described childcare workers as "wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other" and whether he stands by that view.
Senator Leyonhjelm responds by saying "that wasn't what I said, what I said was you don't need a certificate 3, 18 months of study, to be a childcare worker,to learn how to wipe children's noses and stop them from killing each other. The point is childcare is too expensive, we all know it's too expensive, why is it too expensive, because we're requiring childcare workers to get certificates to do things that they all ready knew how to do. That was the point I was making".
Kochie comments "that it is a poor way of expressing it. We understand the point the childcare costs are going up because of over regulation but to slam childcare workers like that is demeaning... you got to be embarrassed"
Mr Leyonhjelm responds "slam them, I didn't slam them, I've been verbaled, I said you don't need a certificate to do those things".
Mon comments "that childcare workers do so much more than that and the last time he went into a childcare centre and see what they have done and that it's such a tiny part of what they do, in their given day"
"Yes, but costs are going up, it's becoming unaffordable and the government is proposing to spend another $3 billion of borrowed money to subsidise childcare what's the cause of it, too much regulation" Mr Leyonhjelm explains.
In defence of David, Pauline Hanson comments "I've been a mother of 4 children, I didn't need a certificate or a qualification to raise my children as many other woman out there, mothers who are rearing their children and it does need to be investigated David is right, the rising costs, we cant afford it, nearly $4 billion a year for childcare and that's what we the tax payers and paying out. It needs an investigation"
This all began on Tuesday night on The Project, when Federal Senator David Leyonjelm described childcare workers responsibilities as "wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other".
Some of the suggestions he made in order to reduce the cost of childcare, was to cut back the required credentials of childcare workers, adding that woman didn't need training to take care of children.
“Apart from the fact you want to make sure there aren’t any paedophiles involved, you have to have credentials these days to be a childcare worker,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.
Senator Leyonhnelm said "a lot of woman just quit" because of the requirements of the National Quality Framework.
“And then they brought in this national quality framework and they had to go and get a ‘certificate three’ in childcare in order to continue the job they were doing – you know, wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other.”
"The ones who got certificate threes said, ‘ OK , I want more pay now that I’m more qualified’. All we did was drive up the cost because of this credentialism."
Senator Leyonhjelm maintained that workers did not need the credentials, saying there were no improvements in standards when the minimum standard of training was introduced..
"I don't think we corrected any errors, any errors, any problems, any deficiencies adversely affecting the kids when we brought in that national quality framework."
Following the interview there have been thousands of comments and reactions from educators throughout Australia angered over the way the Senator has described the role of educators and how demeaning and disrespectful he was towards Early Childhood Education and Care.
As educators we stand together as a united front, with our heads held high, knowing that what we do makes a big difference in a child's life!
James, Weir Senator "David Leyonhjelm’s childcare comments leave viewers gobsmacked", The Daily Telegraph (2017).
Sunrise, "David Leyonhjelms Responds To Backlash", (2017)
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