Resilience and Wellbeing: Introduction to the study and key survey findings

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Resilience and Wellbeing: What works for you
Introduction to the study and key survey findings

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Catharine Hydon, Early Childhood Consultant

[Catharine Hydon, Early Childhood Consultant]: Hello everyone. My name is Catharine Hydon and it's a pleasure to join you in a conversation around a survey undertaken by Early Childhood Australia, in collaboration with the Victorian Department of Education and Training, Resilience and Wellbeing: What works for you?

In this collection of short videos, we're going to explore the findings from the survey.

We're going to talk particularly about some of the ideas that emerged from the survey that correlate with some of the research ideas that are emerging both globally and in Australia.

One of the important things to note is that wellbeing is now firmly on the community agenda.

We know that early childhood educators are part of a broader conversation around what it means to have a strong sense of wellbeing.

We also know that this is not just an individual conversation. It's a conversation to happen in organisations, in teams, with children and their families, and as part of community life.

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Dan Leach-McGill, Policy and Government Relations Executive Early Childhood Australia

[Dan Leach-McGill]:  Hi, I'm Dan Leach-McGill. I'm the Policy and Government Relations Executive at Early Childhood Australia.

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Early Childhood Australia
A voice for young children
The Education State, Victoria State Government, Education and Training

[Dan Leach-McGill]: This research conducted by Early Childhood Australia with support from the Department of Education and Training Victoria included the survey, focus groups and interviews.

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Educational Leader
Centre Manager or Director
Casual Educator
Assistant Director or Assistant Manager
Room Leader and Educator

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Employment Status
Round Chart with employment status percentage breakdown
Department of Education and Training Regions and Areas (Map)
How many years have you worked in the early childhood sector? (Bar Graph)

[Dan Leach-McGill]: We're really grateful that over 700 early childhood education and care professionals completed this work. And we thank you for your thoughts and for your time.

We collected information about your location, experience in the sector and qualifications. We had a range of employment types with most responses being from full and part-time education and care professionals.

Many people who responded were from metropolitan areas, but we also had educators throughout Victoria participate.

We had a range of employment types and many participants had been in the sector for a long time.

[Dan Leach-McGill]: So some of the things that you told us that work well for you also found supported in the research.

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Things that work for you
Being mindful and taking breaks
Connecting with purpose
Finding work-life balance
Seeking support when you need it
Ongoing learning and professional development

The things like finding work-life balance, being mindful and taking breaks, seeking out support when you need it, and connecting with purpose.

You also told us that ongoing learning and professional development can support you to connect with your ongoing purpose in education and care settings.

[Dan Leach-McGill]: Work conducted in the U.S. has led a lot of the findings of this research.

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Indicators of wellbeing
3 main ideas
Supportive structures
Collegial relationships
Professional beliefs

[Dan Leach-McGill]: McMullen and colleagues have offered a range of indicators of wellbeing. They identified three main ideas, supportive structures, including feeling comfortable, secure, and aligned to the goals of your context, collegial relationships, where we feel respected, able to engage and communicate with our colleagues and families, and professional beliefs.

Things like knowing our purpose and that we're making a contribution and that we're empowered to have and to participate in our work with children and families.

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These studies show that we need
Individual strategies
Service sector reforms
Ongoing conversations
Continued effort

These studies show that we need individual strategies, as well as service and sector reforms. We need ongoing conversations and continued effort. The study shows that educator well-being is linked to quality outcomes for children.

[Catharine Hydon, Early Childhood Consultant]: One of the great things about research is that it helps us identify things that work. It also helps us identify the matters that we need to consider further as we move forward.

The conversation around resilience and wellbeing is not early childhood educations alone. It's a conversation that the whole Australian community is having.

And as we move forward, I'm reminded by an amazing quote by an elder from Aotearoa, New Zealand. "We have come too far not to keep going. We have done too much not to do more."

This is a big shout out to all my educator colleagues and the services that you're a part of to continue a robust conversation around resilience and wellbeing so that we can deliver high-quality early childhood education to all Australia's children. 

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Thank you to all the early childhood professionals who participated in this important research
Remember, there are a range of services and resources available to support your wellbeing

  • Call BeyondBlue Support Service: 1300 22 4636
  • Access your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if available
  • Speak with your GP
  • See the Department's Supporting early childhood educator mental health and wellbeing webpage

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The Education State, Victoria State Government, Education and Training

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Victoria State Government
Authorised by the Department of Health & Human Services, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

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