For today’s exploration of children’s rights, we are looking at Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This article states that every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken serio...

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For today’s exploration of children’s rights, we are looking at Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This article states that every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.

In early childhood education, this Article is reflected in the second Outcome of the Early Years Learning Framework: “children are connected and contribute to their world”.

As educators and teachers we know that children can only fully contribute and feel connected to their community when they know that adults listen to them and take their views seriously. Communication skills develop quickly throughout the early years, but we still need to make sure we are working hard to interpret the variety of ways children communicate with us.

For infants, we acknowledge that even though the youngest children may not be communicating verbally, but they can still express their views and contribute to their world. This can be through their physical explorations of the environment, and through involvement in shared experiences such as stories and music. We show respect for young children’s views by listening to their responses to our questions about their experiences.

For toddlers, we can begin to work with children’s developing social and independence skills to support their ownership of the space they play in – setting up tables for meal times, ensuring equipment is looked after and sharing their successes with their peers in the room. This can be a challenging time for children as they learn to share spaces and resources with others – respecting children’s views may not always mean saying “yes”, but empathising with and understanding children when they encounter a challenge.

As children reach Preschool age, we work to ensure that children are exposed to a wide range of diverse perspectives and knowledge about the world and how they fit into it – whether through discussing examples of cultural practices from home, or supporting children to care for their world through sustainable practices.

The youngest of children have the ability to make a contribution to the world – how have you seen your children connect with their world?

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Welcome to Children’s Week at Northside – we hope families will enjoy this exploration and discussion of the importance of children’s rights and how they are upheld. Today we are looking at Article 8 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which discusses every child’s right to an identi...

Children's Week 1 smallWelcome to Children’s Week at Northside – we hope families will enjoy this exploration and discussion of the importance of children’s rights and how they are upheld.

Today we are looking at Article 8 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which discusses every child’s right to an identity. This Article aligns well with the first of the five Learning Outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework – “children have a strong sense of identity”.

While Article 7 discusses the importance of every child having a name, and to identify with a specific nationality, Article 8 is crucial because it talks about States and Governments respecting a child’s right “to preserve his or her identity”, and to provide support if any child is deprived of this.

In early childhood education, supporting children to develop a strong sense of identity is an important part of our daily work. Children develop their own understandings of identity through interactions with the environments and people around them, particularly through play.

In our centres we work with children on their sense of identity in a variety of ways – including displaying images of children and their families in our infant rooms and discussing them with children, through helping children to take ownership of their own routines in the toddler spaces (“this is my bed, this is where I sit for lunch”), to deeper discussions about how children can affect their world in Preschool rooms through art, movement and writing.

In early childhood we also think about the general “identity” of childhood – and the importance of celebrating the early years as a meaningful and exciting time, not just preparation for school or adulthood.

We’d love to hear from families about how identity is explored at home – please check out the Children’s Week display in your centre to contribute.

 

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Educators, teachers and directors from all four Northside Early Childhood Centres gathered on Saturday 10 October to learn and share with their colleagues. The second Big Ideas Day for our Centres focused on pedagogical documentation, and its place in quality early education practice. Cate Whelband from Treehous...

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Educators, teachers and directors from all four Northside Early Childhood Centres gathered on Saturday 10 October to learn and share with their colleagues. The second Big Ideas Day for our Centres focused on pedagogical documentation, and its place in quality early education practice.

Cate Whelband from Treehouse in the Park provided a respectful opening to the day by speaking about the work the children in her room had conducted around developing their own Acknowledgement of Country.

Harry Gill from United Voice then spoke about the next stage of the Big Steps Campaign for professional recognition and wages for early childhood educators.

The bulk of the day was two engaging and interactive workshops from Professor Deborah Harcourt, both focused on making the teaching of educators and the learning of children visible through documentation.

Educators were challenged to reflect on their current approaches to documenting their practice – what are we choosing to document, what questions are we asking about what children find meaningful and interesting?

Professor Harcourt used examples from her visits to Australian and international services to prompt discussion on the purpose of our documentation, and how it can best serve us to be better educators and teachers.

This was a fantastic opportunity for our teams, and the next step is to plan on embedding the reflections from the day into practice.

Professor Deborah Harcourt leads a workshop

Professor Deborah Harcourt leads a workshop

Educators from Civic Early Childhood Centre during a discussion session

Educators from Civic Early Childhood Centre during a discussion session

Cate from Treehouse discusses the Acknowledgement of Country developed by the children in her room

Cate from Treehouse discusses the Acknowledgement of Country developed by the children in her room

Images of learning with questions posed by workshop participants

Images of learning with questions posed by workshop participants

The Civic Early Childhood Centre team during a workshop session

The Civic Early Childhood Centre team during a workshop session

The team from Treehouse in the Park Early Learning Centre discuss their questions about the day

The team from Treehouse in the Park Early Learning Centre discuss their questions about the day

The Harrison Early Childhood Centre team discussing current approaches to documentation

The Harrison Early Childhood Centre team discussing current approaches to documentation

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