Early Start is holding a webinar about resilience in children. Photo: Leo Rivas/Unsplash

Early Start webinar to focus on helping kids push through adversity

Early Start webinar to focus on helping kids push through adversity

International experts highlight importance of early childhood education in tumultuous times

A panel of early childhood experts will deliver a webinar on the two pertinent themes of 2020 – resilience and adversity – and how we can help our children to adjust when times get tough.

Hosted by Early Start at the University of Wollongong (UOW), the webinar will feature keynote speakers Jane Bertrand and Tove Mogstad Slinde as well as experts from UOW on the topic of “Early Childhood Education and Care in a Shifting Landscape”.

It will explore the importance of quality early childhood education in health, wealth, wellbeing and the development of children, families and communities, and how educators can create safe and supportive environments.

In light of the challenges presented by this year, the free webinar will examine the impact of adversity and the role early childhood education can and should play in a nation’s response to these challenges.

Senior Professor Tony Okely, Director of Research at Early Start, said that children throughout Australia have faced an incredibly tough year.

“From bushfires to floods and now COVID-19, this year has disrupted almost every aspect of children’s lives. It has impacted their schooling, their ability to see their friends and family, and participate in extra-curricular activities,” Professor Okely said.

“This may impact the benefits that children derive from taking part in preschool and kindergarten. Early childhood education and care is vital for children, for helping them to overcome adversity and build resilience, and for helping the nation as a whole to rebuild from this difficult year.”

Jane Bertrand, Program Director at the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation in Canada, is an international expert in early childhood education. Tove Mogstad Slinde is a Senior Advisor in the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research in the Department of Early Childhood Education and Care.

They were both guest speakers at the third Early Start Conference, which was due to take place in July. It has rescheduled for 2021 due to COVID-19.

The keynote speakers will be followed by a Q+A with UOW Early Start experts.

The webinar is registered by the NSW Education Standards Authority for professional development, and will be of particular interest to educators, academics, policy makers, and parents.

“Early Childhood Education and Care in a Shifting Landscape” will be held via Zoom on Wednesday 23 September at 7pm AEDT.

The webinar is free and you can register your attendance here: https://uow-au.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6x8PlO4xRoy9vXXE1fRf0A