ECE experts converge in Wollongong

ECE experts converge in Wollongong

Representatives from the ECED attended the University of Wollongong's Early Startconference which was themed "Helping Children Flourish and Realise Their Potential: Translating Research for Policy, Practice and Community".

Special guest speakers included international early childhood education academics Steve Barnett and Ted Melhuish, and Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, and special advisor on education policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Early Start focussed on topics such as school readiness, physical activity and health, information and communications technology, literacy and numeracy, social inclusion and Aboriginal education.

A feature of the conference was an invitation-only panel discussion including Andreas Schleicher (OECD), Edward Melhuish (UOW and Oxford), Iram Siraj (UOW and University College London), Steven Barnett (Rutgers University), and Paul Leseman (Utrecht University), developed to share valuable international insights on early childhood education. A question-and-answer session followed the panel discussion.

ECED staff commented on Steven Barnett's powerful keynote address on the benefit of universal preschool access.

"Providing access to high quality programs for all children, regardless of their background, is vitally important. When children have a common platform starting school, it is much easier to build on their gains", said Tim Keenan, ECE Policy Officer and conference delegate.

Following the conference, a roundtable was held at NSW Parliament House with State Government and national representatives, to further optimise policy discussions.



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