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Early Education…It lasts a lifetime. The ACA Queensland 2023 National Conference

Our Queensland teams, including our Service Managers, 2IC’s and Education and Practice Mentors, had the privilege of attending the Australian Childcare Alliance Conference on the Gold Coast last weekend. The theme for this year was Early Education…It lasts a lifetime. The two-day conference provided valuable opportunities for our teams to learn, be inspired and build on their relationships with each other.

Here are our team’s learnings and their biggest takeaways from the Conference:

“What I enjoyed most was being surrounded by passionate educators within our sector, who were all there for the same reason – to grow, further our knowledge and collaborate to provide high quality education and practices for our children, families, educators and community. Always having the children as our focal point and question who we are doing it for. Taking a step back to allow the children to be confident and capable learners” – Buderim

“My biggest learning was that change is a choice and it’s okay to be out of our comfort zone to grow. Consistency is key and appreciate and love yourself. Most importantly not take on unnecessary opinions of others that can bring negativity into your day, choose your attitude the moment you walk into the door and understand that we’re all continually learning”. – Upper Coomera

“My biggest learning was how people’s attitudes can determine the attitudes of others. It made us think about what we want for our team to drive a friendly, fun  and respectful work environment. Yesterday I implemented a 10-10 briefing with my Lead Educators and we also started gratification week 😊” – Eagleby

“My absolute favourite moment was the Welcome to Country. The music, dance and the meaning behind it all. I could watch and listen to that all day. I was able to really connect with other Sparrow peers. It was great to meet up and network with other professional peers.” – Pacific Pines

“Honestly everything was amazing over the whole weekend. We are so appreciative to have the opportunity to attend. Not only a great way to mingle with other services but we learnt so much through all the captivating speakers. I feel I have taken on so much information to spread across our service. So, thank you so much Sparrow we are so grateful for all you do for us.” – Tewantin

“Justin Coulson referred to the heliotropic effect, which is where all living things grow towards positive energy and light. This is also the same within a workplace, with people moving towards someone with positive energy. People with a “vampire energy” however will often divide the staff. – This is an opportunity to reflect on our own practices, what energy we are bringing to the team and towards the children and how this is affecting our practices. Asking ourselves the ‘why’. Why are we here and why did we choose to work in this sector?” – Sippy Downs

“I really enjoyed catching up with other services who work with Sparrow. I thoroughly enjoyed Johnathon and Adrian’s talks about attitude and between the flags. I really want to implement the hallway huddles each day, this will be a great way to communicate with the staff about absences and messages from families”. – Jacobs Ridge

“I really enjoyed catching up with fellow Service Managers and the management team. I especially enjoyed the first speaker Justin Coulson and Farran Street.” – Eagleby

“We really enjoyed the learning attached to the Toddler session and it reminded us that under three’s are still only infants. We have already shared with our educators the knowledge we gained in these areas and they instantly took the information on board” – Little Explorers

“One of my biggest takeaways was the way that Educators interact with children and the language they use. Children are capable learners and looking at training to upskill educators and give them a different way of thinking. Knowing when to intervene in a situation and when it is best to leave the children to resolve issues for themselves. Also the different ways that we can make our environments inviting and have ‘safe’play spaces for children. We have already started assessing and looking in the playground around what we can implement. – Karana Downs

“One thing I thought would be helpful in my service is calling the current injury forms – learning injury forms explained by Robin Christie from Essential Toddler Knowledge. Robin also spoke about the simple things we often forget about. For instance, the Care Moments are Learning Moments – such as eating, getting ready for bed, washing hands etc. Also, when it comes to children’s behaviour, to stop and reflect it is Attention Seeking or Relationship Seeking. – Pacific Pines

“The thing I have brought back was from Justin Coulson and how he talked about not taking on the world and the life of our team on our shoulders. This has already worked and helped me on my journey this week and I feel better for it.” – Victoria Point

“I really enjoyed the conference as they emphasised how the play-based theory is essential and by simply letting kids be kids and develop at their own rate.” – Upper Coomera

“Toni and Robin Christie’s presentation came at a fantastic time, with our senior studios working on a revamp of our environments. We gained some great ideas for loose parts play and other outdoor provocations. – Sandstone Point



Overall, Sparrow Early Learning came out of the ACA conference with plenty of tips, tricks and ways to improve our services.