Everything you need to know about ECEC associations and advocacy groups
The early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector is well supported by a number of association and advocacy groups – from those supporting childcare businesses and professionals at different levels, to those representing community services, family day care and outside school hours care. Here, The Sector explores these organisations, who they represent, the work they do, and how you can connect with them.
The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation that advocates for the ECEC sector on behalf of long-day care owners and operators. The main aim of the ACA is to ensure that families and children have the opportunity to access affordable, high-quality early learning services throughout Australia.
The organisation has existed in various forms for more than 30 years, has extensive experience in early learning, training and management, and works closely with federal and state governments, regulatory authorities and other stakeholders to ensure a sustainable, affordable and viable ECEC sector.
Established in 1982 as the National Association of Community Based Children’s Services, Australian Community Children’s Services (ACCS) represents and advocates for Australia’s not-for-profit community-owned children’s services, and those who support the right of children to access these services.
ACCS is working toward the vision in which every community will be supported by high-quality, cost-effective, not-for-profit, community children’s services with a professional workforce, strong policy and legal framework, and strong social inclusion program.
ACCS includes a national body supported by branches in each state and territory. In addition to advocacy, the organisation provides relevant information and resources to its membership.
To become a member of ACCS, click here.
Community Connections Solutions Australia (CCSA) represents a membership of 500 ECEC services across Australia, including community-based and private preschools, long day care, occasional care, multipurpose centres, family day care, OSHC, early intervention and outreach services.
The organisation supports ECEC service managers with effective resources, information and support to assist with the operational side of providing quality ECEC services, including governance, management, compliance, business support and workplace relations.
CCSA is governed by a Board of Directors and a large secretariat.
Community Early Learning Australia (CELA) represents Australia’s early and middle childhood education sectors. It aims to inform families, influence policy makers, inspire educators, and unite small community and private providers with the value of providing “purpose before profit and community benefit”.
Established in 1938, Early Childhood Australia (ECA) is an early childhood advocacy organisation acting in the interests of children, families and early childhood professionals. ECA aims to ensure quality, social justice and equity in all issues relating to the education and care of children aged zero to eight.
Informing its advocacy, ECA strives to operate with four priorities: speak up for children; build social capital; champion quality in early education; and, lead and inspire professional learning.
ECA has a National Council and National Board of Directors, supported by state and territory branches. The National Board of Directors acts in the best interests of the organisation as a whole and sets strategic directions for the ECA, while the state and territory branches advocate on state government issues.
The Early Learning Association of Australia (ELAA) advocates for a strong and viable early childhood sector, representing the interests of independent kindergartens, early years managers (or kindergarten cluster managers), parents and other early childhood education and care services.
The ELAA provides its members with advocacy, advice and support regarding industrial relations, governance and management practice, training and professional development programs, resources and events. The ELAA is managed by a Board of Directors and a secretariat.
Incorporated in 2014, the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) is an association of large providers of ECEC services across Australia, with member organisations operating over 1,800 ECEC centres nationally.
The ELACCA promotes the value of quality early learning and care as an integral part of Australia’s education system, and advocates for the right of children and their families to access this care – particularly children facing disadvantages. The council aims to promote greater public investment to improve the affordability and access to quality ECEC services.
The ELACCA is led by its members, with each member organisation’s CEO contributing to the council.
Family Daycare Australia (FDA) represents family day care providers across Australia. It supports and promotes its members and the family day care services in delivery quality outcomes for children. FDA is managed by a Board of Directors and a secretariat.
Through its advocacy, the association aims to represent the scope and diversity of its membership via broadly representative policy positions, while providing detailed analysis and support to its members. In addition to this, FDA offers its members insurance packages, other essential service-related benefits, and tools to help with marketing and branding.
The FDA also promotes its members via its Excellence in Family Daycare Awards and National Family Daycare Week initiatives.
To become a member of FDA, click here.
Established in 1993, the National Outside School Hours Services Alliance (NOSHSA) is a voluntary network of Australian state and territory out of school hours care (OSHC) associations which aim to promote OSHC and act as a united voice to advocate to the government and community for access to quality OSHC services.
The NOSHSA currently represents 3,500 Australian OSHC services. It aims to promote OSHC as a distinct and unique service type, raise the profile of OSHC in Australia, facilitate networking between OSHC organisations and professionals, and analyse and make recommendations on government policy.
In addition to advocacy, the NOSHSA provides events and webcasts to its membership.
To become a member of NOSHSA or its state and territory brancHes, click here.
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