Please read the many comments and messages of support we have received from our WA Play Strategy campaign supporters.
The Closure of the ECA WA Play Strategy Website
Dear Supporters of the WA Play Strategy Initiative (2014-2020)
Many of you have already visited this Early Childhood Australia WA Play Strategy website and will know of the journey ECAWA has undertaken over the past 7 years to raise public awareness regarding the importance of play in children’s lives. While our campaign has now reached its ‘soft closing’, we trust ALL our supporters will continue to express their views in reference to play matters. WA children, families and educators need us to continue to be bold, loud and have a courageous voice proclaiming the rights of young children to grow and to learn through play.
Our work has clearly demonstrated our on-going commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, with a focus on child-initiated, self-directed play, as a fundamental right of all children. This Play Strategy website has been an effective tool for speaking up for children; securing endorsements for our WA Play Strategy initiative; distributing information based on evidence and expertise; and being a point of contact where many supporters have contributed comments regarding play matters in WA. This amazing resource has been a resounding success and enabled us to push past 10,000 individual endorsements.
Important to our 2017-2019 campaign has been the release of the Department of Education Focus 2019 document that emphasised play-based learning in Kindergarten and Pre-Primary. Also, our submission to WA Premier Mark McGowan (December 2019) provided evidence of support from citizens across our State and 150 WA organisations that play matters in the lives of young children: no matter who they are or where they live. In addition, the development of an ECA WA Play Statement was accomplished and is the culmination of work undertaken over a two year period with members of the wider community. We look forward to launching the WA Play Statement and circulating it widely in late 2020.
Further to our work, the Commissioner for Children and Young People WA has provided support to establish a Play Matters Collective steering committee (2019). The ECAWA branch is also pleased to announce ECA’s National Office commitment to deliver a Nation Play Statement late in 2020.
Finally, we have built a strong evidence-based foundation to raise public awareness about the importance of play at home and in the community; also, the need to implement play-based learning programmes in the early years of schooling. We trust that you have found the online resources uploaded to the WA Play Strategy website useful to your work and your support of children’s play. While this website will close at the end of May 2020, please do not hesitate to contact ECAWA for future assistance in working towards what is best for WA children.
On behalf of the ECAWA Play Strategy subcommittee founding members we sincerely thank everyone for their support throughout this important campaign.
Sandra Hesterman, Marcelle Saratsis, Jayne Kaiko and Anna Targowska