About Early Childhood Australia NSW

Early Childhood Australia NSW is a volunteer run organisation promoting the voice for young children and supporting professionals working in the field of Early Childhood Education. Members of the Executive come from different organisation representing community based, private centres, Family day care, OOSCH services, Training organisations, consultants and universities. ECA NSW sit on many committees to be an active voice for members.

State Election Forum In Person Wednesday 8th March, 2023

ECA NSW members and friends are warmly welcomed to join the NSW Election Forum on the Early Years and Early Education, hosted by ECA NSW Committee at the Sydney Masonic Centre.

The confirmed panel includes:
Minister for Education and Early Learning, the Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC (NSW Nationals), and Shadow Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Ms Prue Car MP (NSW Labor).

Hear the candidates outline their policies and election commitments relevant to young children, families and early childhood educators. Limited seats available, register now: https://lnkd.in/guQcqS9VActivate to view larger image,

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SPRouts award winner announced

We are very pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 SPRouts award. SDN Owl’s House wins $1000 to put towards their continued environmental sustainability program. There were ten excellent applicants.  

Below is part of the SDN Owl’s house application: 

All changes start from small actions. We embed the principles of Education for Sustainability through the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle initiative, the examples include but not limited to:

• Owl’s Market, as a part of our waste management, encourages children and families to collect and sell used clothes/toys/books at a reasonable price so they can be reused instead.

• Children developed Owl’s Library and designed a library tag system as maintenance. It helps reduce families’ expenditure in book purchasing and builds a bridge between home and the service through an early literacy experience.

• We cut down wastage through loose part play while promoting open-ended play. The Recycle Art Corner is designed to collect recycled materials (boxes, catalogues, fabrics, bottle lids, natural materials) for creative art making. Plastic bottles and containers are collected by all stakeholders to be reused in dramatic play to build on the children’s emerging knowledge of sustainable practices.

• We reviewed the existing outdoor/indoor environments and identified the need to add more natural elements. Our children developed vegetable gardens to share responsibilities. They collect fruit and vegetable scraps for our worm farm. We also teach children the importance of saving water and using the water from our rainwater tank for watering plants and outdoor water play.

Reflective practice, as a part of our service’s philosophy, plays a significant role in our sustainability program.

• OneNote is used as a reflection tool for the team to share knowledge about sustainability. We believe holistic thinking is vital in identifying the current challenges in sustainability and encouraging people to explore the solutions creatively.

• Children are encouraged to think about how to reuse items to reduce landfills. We demonstrated how to reuse cardboard to make costumes/signs and reuse dried-out markers as watercolour substitutes by soaking the tips in jars of water. Children become aware that items can be

repaired and reused. We also purchase less by reusing the existing plastic resources until the end of their life.

• We listen to and value children’s voices through daily conversations. For example, children discussed how human waste impacts ocean life. A parent invited our children to the UNSW Environmental Lab to explore further. During Children’s Week 2022, children raised awareness through collective artwork that all children today and in the future should all deserve their right to quality of life.

We have also developed partnerships with external communities to promote Education for Sustainability.

• We registered as a Community Collection Hub in partnership with TerraCycle in 2021, to invite more local people to help collect writing instruments, cleaning products containers, and dental care products. This project was also shared on UNSW campus during “Early Learning Matters Week 2022”.

• Ongoing relationships with the local Bunning’s Warehouse and a flower shop support our natural environments through donations and incursions. Children are encouraged to think about how to reduce landfills.

• We had a sustainability campaign on the UNSW campus to celebrate Earth Day 2022. Children and families prepared and shared hand-made paper, sealed glitter jars and recycled poster during the excursion.Congratulations to all nominees. The applications were all outstanding. 

Free live webinar for ECA Members

We are looking forward to the last ECA in Conversation live webinar for the year! 

Catharine Hydon speaking with Fay Hadley on Tuesday 29 November 4pm AEDT on the opportunities for action and advocacy that come with the reforms around child care subsidies and kindergarten funding.

Join the conversation as Catharine and Fay discuss how to use data and evidence to support continuous quality improvement and outline how early childhood professionals can actively engage in advocacy for reform.

Free for ECA Members ($25 for non-members).

To register free as a member, login to your account on the ECA Shop before checking out.

Link: https://bit.ly/3V5GiDr

It’s Early Learning Matters week

Everyone is invited to join the ECA Learning Hub for a free live webinar TODAY Monday 17 October at 5.00 pm to discuss the importance of Early Learning Matters Week and how to use this as a platform for advocating for the early years. Please follow and share – this link to register for the webinar.   SHARE, RECOGNISE and CREATE through social media or in your setting 

  • SHARE the Early Learning Matters Week digital assets across your social media channels or download a poster to display from the resources page. 
  • RECOGNISE the efforts of the early childhood educators and teachers in your life. Take photos with a short message of support to post on social. 
  • CREATE your own Early Learning Matters Week messages of support and share your photos, artwork, signs or posters in your service or across channels. 
  • Remember to tag ECA and use the hashtag #EarlyLearningMatters.  

How will your networks celebrate? Please encourage your peers, friends, family and wider community to let us know how they are celebrating Early Learning Mattes Week, and to send us photographs (with permission to share them). Simply email earlylearningmatters@earlychildhood.org.au to share news and updates!  For more information and to get involved

#earlylearningmatters #ECA

Conversations Evening – How to be a story teller.

ECA NSW presents a Conversation Evening with Jo Henwood

Jo Henwood is an Accredited Storyteller with Australian Storytellers, accredited Professional Guide with the Institute of Australian Tour Guides, and President of the Australian Fairy Tale Society. She is a museum theatre creative, and workshop leader on literature, history, creative writing, folklore, and storytelling.

As a Tour Guide she leads tours around Sydney, as and Education Officer she interprets history and science in heritage sites, and she was a FEAST (Federation of Asian Storytellers) mentor to Storytellers performing in heritage sites.

Her qualifications include BA (Library Science), Tour Guiding Cert III, Graduate Diploma of Museum Studies, Graduate Certificate of Gifted Education, and Master of Cultural Heritage. Jo has been performing stories for nearly 25 years, specialising in historical stories and fairy tales, and storytelling in heritage sites, but also performing myths, mysteries, romances, ghost and literary stories, for audiences from preschool to elderly, including school age, families, teens, and People With Disability.

Join this enjoyable Conversations Evening on Thursday 18th August,7 to 8 pm. 2022

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

This session will be recorded . If registered you will be sent a link to the recording.

BeYou visiting the Far North Coast

Far North Coast BeYou Presentation

ECA Far North Coast invites you to the second evening, focussed on Educator well-being.

BeYou will be presenting a session on support for Educator’s wellbeing, after a challenging year of floods, staffing shortages and other challenges on the Far North Coast.

We encourage you to bring your colleagues along for an evening of support, networking and connection. 

We will be hosting this event in two locations on the Far North Coast, to reach as many Educators as possible.


Be You: Planning for Wellbeing: Mine, Yours, Ours


Tuesday, 23rd August – 6pm -8pm – Wollongbar TAFE Campus, K Block, Room: KG11. 61 Sneaths Road, Wollongbar, NSW, 2477.


Wednesday, 24th August – 6pm – 8pm, Cooloon Children’s Centre, 2 Park Street, Tweed Heads. 

Cost: $5 per person for light refreshments and drinks.

Book here 

https://www.trybooking.com/CBTAD Wollongbar

https://www.trybooking.com/CBTAI  Cooloon

For further enquiries – farnorthcoast@nsw.earlychildhood.org.au

We hope to see you there for an evening together!

Conversations Evening with Julie Gaul and Deb Watson – Environmental Sustainability in ECEC. Thursday 23rd at 7pm.

Many people would know Julie Gaul and Deb Watson from ECEEN. 

ECEEN has joined with Early Childhood Australia spreading the word about environmental sustainability in Early Childhood Education and Care centres across Australia.

 ‘Being the change’ by acting locally.

Julie and Deb will discuss the evolution of Early Childhood Environmental Education Network (ECEEN) into a special interest group within Early Childhood Australia. They will investigate how your service can be the catalyst for change in your community, how  sustainable living and learning in early childhood settings can develop and grow within the regions and connect to local community issues to make a difference now and for future generations.They will discuss how to participate in the SPROuts Practice Awards.

Discuss what you can do to be most effective to support the continued transformation of their services into environmentally sustainable practices. .

Register today for the ECA NSW Conversations Evening. Join on the evening or be sent the recording post Conversations. 

Thursday 23rd June at 7pm. 

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

ECA NSW Conversations WHAT”S NEW ECA Professional Development and BeYou

The next conversation evening will have two speakers. Both from ECA National. 

  • Shae Haylen will speak on Professional Learning opportunities. What is on offer. 
  • Deb Yates will give a quick overview of Be You. Current areas of focus for services engaging with Be You – Educator Wellbeing including service policy development, re-engaging with families and children, conversations re seeking support for children and families and staff. Support for critical incident planning and recovery

Register to listen on the night or be sent the recording afterwords. 

When: Thursday May 26, 2022 07:00 PM 

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Shae Haylen – ECA General Manager Professional Learning

Shae’s oversees all of ECA’s professional learning work in her role as General Manager, including online learning, publications and capacity building projects.  She brings early childhood teaching expertise, early childhood management and leadership expertise as well as end-to-end research project management.  She also has experience in stakeholder consultation as well as the translation of research to practice.

Deb Yates National Manager BeYou

Debbie Yates is a National Manager for Be You at Early Childhood Australia. Her previous experience includes teaching across both early learning and primary school settings and leadership roles at a range of community organisations with a focus on supporting families and children. Debbie holds post graduate qualifications in management (non-profit sector).Be You is a national initiative that equips educators to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people from birth to 18 years.We help you involve everyone at your early learning service or school in supporting mental health, so you achieve the best possible outcomes. We provide free online interactive sessions and events, accredited professional learning, fact sheets, planning and implementation tools and other resources.Be You is led by Beyond Blue in partnership with Early Childhood Australia and headspace.