The awards component of 2022 Education and Care Awards Gala showcases the commitment, innovation and achievement of individuals and services within our sector. Each finalist receives a complimentary ticket, with additional tickets available for purchase.

We request that all finalists attend the gala evening—please consider this when choosing to nominate.

Early Childhood Australia (ECA) is working in conjunction with the Hellenic Club and ACT Health to ensure the 2022 Education and Care Awards Gala is a COVID-safe event. The health and wellbeing of all participants is our priority.

Key dates

2022 Selection process Key date
Nominations open and ticket sales begin 26 July 2021
Nominations close 29 July 2022
Finalists notified and announced 26 August 2022
Interviews for finalists at ECA National Office 7- 8 September 2022
Ticket sales close 16 September 2022
2022 Education and Care Awards Gala 30 September 2022

Award categories

Sector Support Award
Education and care settings cannot operate without the support of key people. The people may not work directly with children or be in a leadership position, however, the contribution they make to the organisation is significant. This award will recognise and celebrate the supporters in the ACT sector.

Rising Star Award
This award is open to individuals who are at the early stages of their career in the education and care profession. The award will recognise individuals working in approved education and care settings and may also acknowledge those studying towards an approved qualification.

Sector Advocacy Award
Advocacy is vital for the work undertaken by education and care professionals. There are many individuals both within education and care settings and more broadly in the ACT community who make a significant contribution to the sector and the profession through their advocacy. This award will recognise and celebrate these local achievements.

Innovation in Pedagogy and Practice Award
This award is open to individuals and services wanting to share and celebrate innovative and transformative pedagogy and practice. The award will include four sub-categories to recognise family day care, education and care of children from birth to three years and three to five years, as well as out of school hours care.

Educator or Early Childhood Teacher Award
This award is open to individuals employed as educators who work in a direct role with children and families. The award will celebrate the essential role that educators play, not only in the lives of children and families but also in society.

Director Award
This award is open to individuals employed in the role of director, c00entre manager or coordinator of an approved education and care setting located in the ACT. It will highlight the critical role played by leaders in the sector and how they drive quality within their organisations.

Educational Leader Award
Founded on the advocacy work originally undertaken by the ACT Pedagogical Leadership Network, this award is open to individuals who are currently employed in the role of educational leader.

How to submit a nomination for an award

  1. Review the eligibility criteria.
  2. Ensure you are nominating in the correct category.
  3. Read and agree to the conditions of entry.
  4. Gather relevant details and start building your application.
  5. Address the selection criteria.

Completing and submitting your nomination

Nominations must be submitted electronically to

General eligibility for nominations

  • An individual can only nominate for one award—please note, this does not mean they cannot be part of a service award. For example, a service may for an Innovation in OSHC Award as well as an educator for the Educator of the Year Award, however they cannot then nominate that educator for any other award.
  • All nominations must be supported by the individual’s employer.
  • All finalists must be prepared to attend an interview with the finalist judging panel on Wednesday 7 or Thursday 8 September at ECA National Office.
  • All finalists must be in attendance on the night of the 2022 Education and Care Awards Gala on Friday 30 September 2022.


  • You may attach evidence supporting your nomination.
  • A maximum of three single A4 page attachments are allowed per nomination. Any material exceeding this will not be provided to the judging
  • This evidence must be limited to text and still images—links etc. provided will not be viewed or provided to the judging committee.
  • Consider how the children, families and team at the service can help to support the nomination in your evidence.

Conditions of entry

By submitting a nomination, you agree:

  • to attend the interview with the finalist judging panel on Wednesday 7 or Thursday 8 September at ECA National Office
  • to attend the 2022 Education and Care Awards Gala on Friday 30 September 2022.
  • that all content and claims in your nomination are true and correct
  • that any decisions relating to the awards process are final and that ECA nor ECA ACT Branch will not enter into justification for the selection of successful nominees and will not debate the evaluation process
  • that failure to adhere to the Education and Care National Law, Education and Care National Regulations or the removal of your Working with Vulnerable People Card registration will result in instant disqualification/removal
  • to participate in future promotion of the event in the following years
  • to being photographed and filmed while participating in the gala event and all processes leading up to it; for example, at the finalist interviews
  • that information surrounding your application and images or quotes from you at the gala event will be used by ECA and ECA ACT Branch on social media platforms and publications
  • to present on the information included within your nomination as requested by ECA ACT Branch in 2022/2023.


Only the ECA ACT Branch, appointed members of the judging committee and appointed finalist judging panel members have access to a nominee’s information. Personal information will not be disclosed to any other party without the nominee’s consent, unless authorised or required by law. All judging committee members and finalist judging panel are required to sign confidentiality and conflict-of-interest statements.

Judging process

All applications will be received by the official email for the event:

Each nomination will then be distributed to members of the judging committee.

All applications will be assessed against the selection criteria to determine the finalist. Each finalist will be notified on Friday 26 August 2022.

The finalist judging panel will receive three finalist nominations for each category. They will conduct an interview with each finalist to assist in making the final decision.

As previously stated, each member of the committee and panel will sign a privacy and conflict-of-interest statement that includes a clause in which they agree to only make a judgement based on the selection criteria and that they will remain ethical in their decision-making at all times.


  • No member of the finalist judging panel, or their service or colleagues, are eligible to nominate for the awards.
  • While members of the judging committee are eligible to nominate for an award, as are their service/employer/colleagues, they will not judge within their nominated category as part of the conflict-of-interest agreement signed.
  • If you were the recipient of an individual award at the 2019 gala, you are ineligible to apply for an award this year. Your service may still apply.
  • If you were the recipient of a service award in the Innovation category last year, you are ineligible to apply under this category this year. You may still apply for individual awards.

Tips for preparing an application

  • A successful applicant will stand out from the crowd.
  • A quality application will be clear and concise and address all selection criteria.
  • Remember that the judges do not know the nominee and your task is to convince them that this nominee is a worthy choice.
  • Consider what the nominee has achieved, how it was achieved it, what practical examples you have to support it and what gives them the edge over other nominees.
  • Start today—give yourself enough time to write the application and do not leave it until the last minute.
  • Keep your language clear and concise.
  • Show the first draft of your application to someone who will provide you with critical and honest feedback. Ask someone to check the final draft—it makes a difference and is a worthwhile investment of time.
  • Make sure any attachments are of high quality and that evidence provided has been referenced in the application.
  • Think big, the only limitation is your imagination.
  • Simply tell your story.
  • Applications close at 5.00pm Friday 20 August, so make sure you allocate enough time to write your response to each criterion and get your application submitted by this date.

Submission checklist

  • I have not submitted an application for more than one award.
  • I meet the eligibility criteria for the award.
  • I have addressed all assessment criteria.
  • I have completed all mandatory sections and questions.
  • I have read and understood the conditions of entry and privacy requirements.
  • I have not exceeded the word count or attachment limit.