Early Childhood Australia
|Early Childhood Australia|
|Patroness||Quentin Bryce AC Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia|
|First President||Ada Mary a'Beckett|
|National Office||Canberra, Australian Capital Territory|
|National President||Margaret Young|
|Publications||Australian Journal of Early Childhood|
|Free online services|
Early Childhood Australia is the peak early childhood advocacy organisation in Australia, acting in the interests of young children, their families and those in the early childhood education and care field.
Early Childhood Australia began as the Australian Pre-School Association, which was formed in 1938. It was renamed the Australian Early Childhood Association, which was changed to Early Childhood Australia in 2003.
Mission statement and values
Early Childhood Australia's mission statement:
'Early Childhood Australia will advocate to ensure quality, social justice and equity in all issues relating to the education and care of children from birth to eight years.'
The values of Early Childhood Australia:
- The rights of children
- Leadership, excellence and respect
- Courage, honesty and openness
- Collaboration and diversity
- Social inclusion of children
Early Childhood Australia comprises branches in each state and territory in Australia. Early Childhood Australia members are representatives of the state and territory branches.
The national organisation of Early Childhood Australia is governed by a National Council and a National Board of Directors. The work of the organisation is supported by the National Office.
Early Childhood Australia is a non-profit organisation which is supported by its membership base.
The organisation identifies its branches as an integral part of the organisation; that help them identify issues and priorities for state and national action, and influence position statements concerning young children.
It is through the branches that Early Childhood Australia members interact for networking opportunities and to provide each other professional support.
Branches also elect members to represent them at a national level, ensuring that the organisation stays informed on issues of national importance. This provides members with the opportunity to inform and influence the direction and focus of the national body of Early Childhood Australia.
Each of the branches publishes a regular member newsletter focusing on local initiatives, as well as issues of national importance.
Code of Ethics
A code of ethics is a set of statements about appropriate and expected behaviour of members of a professional group and, as such, reflects its values.
The Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics was first developed in 1990 by a national working party, with considerable input from the early childhood field. The 2003-06 Code of Ethics Agenda resulted in a new Code of Ethics, which was endorsed at Early Childhood Australia's National Council meeting in September 2006.
The Code of Ethics is owned by the early childhood field, rather than imposed upon it.
As well as promoting the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child, Early Childhood Australia has lobbied governments on many key issues in the care and wellbeing of young children, such as:
- children's rights
- children of asylum seekers
- inclusion and diversity
- evidence-based standards for children's services
- leadership and qualifications in early childhood services and schools.
As part of its advocacy work, Early Childhood Australia also develops position statements on a range of early childhood issues, such as:
- Care of infants
- Children and the mass media
- Cultural diversity
- Information technology and young children
- Language and literacy
- Physical environments for centre-based early childhood services
Early Childhood Australia biennial conference
Early Childhood Australia's National Conference is an event for people who work with young children, and for all those who are interested in young children's wellbeing. The next ECA Conference is 'Consulting the Compass - defining directions' from the 3 – 6 October 2012 at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, WA.
- Early Childhood Australia website
- Supporting Best Practice web directory – links to hundreds of quality-assured fact sheets and articles
- Early Childhood Australia's Code of Ethics – a code of ethics for the early childhood field
- Early Childhood Australia position statements – a framework for much of Early Childhood Australia's advocacy work, and to support good early childhood practice for those who work with and for young children