#111 Recruitment and retention (with Melissa Armstrong)

This episode, we’re taking a look at one of the biggest frustrations out there in the sector - recruitment and retention. With subsidies flowing and the market-model growing, Australia’s early education sector needs more educators and teachers than ever before. But with TAFEs and Unis producing less graduates, and turnover rates not getting any better, we seem to be facing a growing crisis in how to actually ensure professional and qualified educators are working in services.

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Liam McNicholas
#110 All the Reviews News

This episode, we’re taking one of our deep dives into early education policy. There are currently three major reviews being conducted into key parts of Australia’s early education sector. Right now, the Universal Access partnership for preschool funding, the National Quality Framework and ACECQA itself are all under the microscope. For each of these reviews, we’re going to take a step back and look at history and background, the context of the current review, and speculate wildly about what the reviews mean and what could happen.

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Liam McNicholas
#109 Family Day Care (with Anita Jovanovski)

Over the last few years, Family Day Care has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Multi-million dollar frauds of the subsidy system have made headlines, and have seen the Government focus on cracking down on those rorting the system. But while it’s a small part of the education and care sector, Family Day Care has been working to move beyond these negative stories. 

Anita Jovanovski, CEO of NSW Family Day Care Association, joins Lisa and Liam to talk about Family Day Care and how it fits in with the modern early education sector.

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Liam McNicholas
#108 Is too much expected of Centre Directors?

One of the most important roles in the early education sector is the Centre Director. As well as usually being the Nominated Supervisor and individually responsible for ensuring the Law and Regulations are upheld in their service, Directors are also employee managers, often manage administration, need to meet organisational requirements, and a range of other responsibilities. The role is critical to positive outcomes for children, educators and families. But is it time to take a step back and ask - today, is too much expected of Centre Directors?

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Liam McNicholas
#107 Advocacy is everybody's job (LIVE from the SJIEC Conference)

This episode, it’s a special live edition of the podcast recorded at the Social Justice in Early Education Conference. We discuss what public policies and what practices in our sector are infringing on the capacity of all Australian children to access high quality early education and care this year? And what can we do as practitioners and advocates to further our cause?

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Liam McNicholas
#106 Are we too child-centred? (with Dr Tamara Cumming)

The National Quality Framework, at its most fundamental level, is about positive outcomes for children in their learning and wellbeing. It sets the standard for quality, and raises the bar for the provision of children’s services in Australia. But the people who are expected to deliver this reform for Australia, educators, are paid low wages, work in shifts, and often aren’t recognised as professionals. Is it time to ask - are we too child-centred in our work, and what does that mean for educators?

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Liam McNicholas
#105 Documentation and planning in a digital world (with Melanie Elderton)

Quality Area 1 - educational program and practice - is the Quality Area of the National Quality Standard that is most likely to be rated Working Towards. The sector is still working through the new requirements of the NQF, and what they mean for educators and children. In a world that is embracing more and more software and technology, what does documentation and planning mean in a digital world?

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Liam McNicholas
#104 Engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives (with Jessica Staines)

Valuing Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures is one of the guiding principles of the National Quality Framework. However, engaging with Indigenous perspectives can be a daunting prospect for many services. Why is it so important for educators and services to understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being? Where can they start? And what does the work in the first five years mean for broader advocacy? This episode, we're joined by Jessica Staines from the Koori Curriculum to tackle these big questions.

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Liam McNicholas
Bonus Episode #11: Rort Alert!

The bonuses keep on comin’… Lisa and Liam really wanted to talk through the recent media reports on a $5 million fraud operation in the Family Day Care sector, so we called friend of the podcast Karl and talked through this bizarre story.

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Liam McNicholas
#99 Educator Wellbeing Project Stakeholder Roundtable

This week Liam gets an update on the Early Childhood Educator Wellbeing Project (ECEWP) we covered earlier in the year. Liam speaks to Tamara Cumming, one of the researchers leading the Project; Leisa Wright, Centre Director at Harrison Early Childhood Centre, one of the services taking part in the Project; and Leanne Gibbs, who facilitated a session at the Project’s recent Stakeholder Roundtable.

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Liam McNicholas
#97 Budget 2019 and early childhood education

Lisa and Liam quickly scour the budget papers (and Twitter), before giving our immediate reactions to the Federal Government’s Budget for 2019/20.

Then, in anticipation that we were probably not going to like this Budget, Lisa dazzles us all with her fantasy Federal Budget for early education.

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Liam McNicholas
#96 Design and implementation of the Child Care Package

This week Lisa and Liam have a brief chat about this weekend's NSW Election, before tackling the Australian National Audit Office's review of the design and implementation of the Government's Child Care Package. We speak to four people in the sector to get a range of views on how well (or not) the Package was delivered.

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Liam McNicholas