Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has been a voice for young children since 1938. We are the peak early childhood advocacy organisation, acting in the interests of young children, their families and those in the early childhood field. ECA advocates to ensure quality, social justice and equity in all issues relating to the education and care of children aged birth to eight years.
Our vision: Every young child is thriving and learning.
Our role in achieving this vision is to be an effective advocate for young children and a champion for quality outcomes in early childhood education and care.
Established in 1938, Early Childhood Australia (ECA) is the largest and most authoritative peak body in the early childhood sector. We represent over 3700 members nationwide, from private, community-based and local government service providers, individual educators, schools, universities and other organisations that are passionate about the wellbeing of all Australian children.
ECA prides itself on being a voice for young children. We are willing and able to speak on a broad range of issues related to the delivery of early childhood education and care (ECEC), including:
- quality in early childhood education
- Federal Government policy, and
- affordability and accessibility of ECEC.
Through our vast network, we are also able to provide highly qualified experts on fields including child psychology, social and emotional wellbeing of children, early childhood education and care and much more. ECA is available to all national media outlets including print, radio and television.
ECA has a rich, proud history of work, volunteerism, activism and advocacy. In 2018, ECA celebrated 80 years of continued service to Australian children. It was in 1938 we started as ‘The Australian Association of Pre-School Child Development’. The longevity of the organisation and its continued commitment to this important role is a testament to its leaders and members. To commemorate our 75th year, ECA published ‘A voice for young children – 75 years of Early Childhood Australia’ which was launched on 3 October 2013. To download a free PDF copy click here.
ECA draws on the broad experiences and expertise of our members in our advocacy work. We take a strong evidence based approach to advocacy and conduct and commission research and reviews to inform our rigorous position on policy matters. As the national peak body for the early childhood sector, ECA is a regular, and trusted, contributor to the public policy debate on early childhood education and care, health, family policy and immigration as well other policy areas affecting children.
- Respect—we demonstrate our respect for children, families and professionals.
- Leadership—we are courageous in promoting the rights and voice of young children.
- Integrity—our work is based on evidence and expertise; it is always ethical and transparent.
- Equity—we believe in social justice and equal opportunity.
The members of our National Council are representatives of the Early Childhood Australia State and Territory Committees. The members of our Board of Directors are drawn from a mix of our State and Territory Committees as well as independent directors. To find out more click here.
The national organisation of Early Childhood Australia is governed by:
The National Board of Directors is required to act in the best interests of the organisation as a whole.
The work of the national organisation is supported by the National Office.
ECA’s Strategic Directions (2021–2024) is a significant document which outlines the future direction of the organisation and what we stand for.
ECA’s goals for 2021–2024 are:
- Priority 1: Speak up for young children
- Priority 2: Collaborate for impact
- Priority 3: Champion ‘beyond quality’ in early education
- Priority 4: Lead and inspire professional learning
- Priority 5: Be sustainable and effective
We hope that you will be inspired by our goals and values, and that you will be a key part in the success of Early Childhood Australia.
To view ECA’s Constitution click here.
Early Childhood Australia has a national office located in the Australian Capital Territory.
The national office is responsible for the development and implementation of the National Work Program, which is approved by the National Board of Directors and underwrites the achievement of the Early Childhood Australia’s strategic plan.
The Chief Executive Officer (Ms Samantha Page) works closely with the National Board of Directors towards the achievement of the organisation’s goals.
Early Childhood Australia’s publishing, marketing and membership program operates from the national office. The publishing and marketing section is responsible for producing the quality-assured resources which support Early Childhood Australia’s advocacy work. The publishing and marketing section works in close collaboration with the Early Childhood Australia Publications Committee.