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Early Learning

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Litte girl playing at being a carpenter

Supporting toddlers’ pretend play

While it is easy to overlook the importance of make believe play, the ability to pretend is a cornerstone of children’s cognitive development. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi looks at why it is important and how we can encourage it.

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Let’s chat! Conversations with infants

While babies are born with an innate ability to tune into language, their language development is shaped by the kinds of interactions they experience from birth. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi looks at the importance of conversation.

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Little boy playing with an abacus

Quality programs for birth to threes

Many parents are anxious about sending very young children to a long-day-care centre. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi answers the questions: Should parents be worried? What does research tell us about the impact on very young children?

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Father and son are spending time in the living room

Conversation skills: Teaching preschoolers

While conversing as adults can seem natural, for a preschool child, communicating ideas and knowing the rules of conversation is a new skill. Associate Professor Tricia Eadie explains that conversation underpins key social skills such as playing.

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Boy in school uniform playing soccer alone in the school yard

Boys lagging behind when school starts

What role do biology and society play in boys not being as developmentally ready to start school as girls? Right from birth, boys and girls don’t begin life on the same starting block. The impact of this is a question researchers are trying to unravel.

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Little boy playing with a mathematics wooden toy

How to include maths in children’s play

Many people believe they can't do maths and are reluctant to help their children. It’s a shame, however, if you’ve managed to convince yourself you can’t help your child to learn the basics. Fortunately, your view about your ability is also untrue.

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Young girl playing with toys

When too many toys are a big distraction

It’s not unusual for parents to complain their children have too many toys, usually because of clutter. However a study has found that having an abundance of toys may not be a great thing, as it prevents children from being as creative as possible.

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Playful preschoolers having fun making faces

The benefits of high-quality preschool

Research shows that children who’ve participated in preschool are more independent and better able to concentrate and cooperate. However, almost a quarter of Australian children entering school do not have the foundational skills they need for school and life.

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