Creating positive, stress-free environments for our young children – early childhood experts

November 15, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Research published in the latest Australian Journal of Early Childhood has uncovered a number of insights into how positive, stress-free environments influence the care and education of young children in Australia.

Edition editor, Dr Margaret Sims, who examines the role of stress in young children’s lives in her work as Program Director and lecturer at Children & Family Studies, Edith Cowan University, remarked:

‘The first surprise for me was the key role stress plays … Quality early childhood practice should involve reducing children’s stress levels … Today, what children need is to be in an environment where they feel safe, loved and respected.’

According to Dr Sims, stress may be a key indicator of outcomes for young children as they become adults, ‘We know, for example, that children growing up in situations of poverty live shorter and less healthy lives, and are more likely to have less positive mental health outcomes, and lower educational and employment achievements.’

The seven articles featured in the latest issue of the Australian Journal of Early Childhood offer the ‘tools and knowledge [needed] to shape [early childhood] practice in new ways’.

Many different perspectives are touched upon, including:

• Encouraging physical activity
• Childhood fear
• Sound recognition – ‘sonic environmental education’
• Enhancing children’s social experiences
• Mathematics teaching
• Computers in the classroom
• Frameworks for early childhood researchers

Sample articles and abstracts, including full-text editorial by Margaret Sims, available at:

Australian Journal of Early Childhood, vol. 30 no. 4, 2005.
Published by Early Childhood Australia.