Early Childhood Australia National Conference 2016

Call for Papers


Applications to present are now closed!

The Early Childhood Australia Conference is a national conference attended by over 1200 practitioners, academics, professionals and policy-makers in the field of early years education and care. Applications to present at this conference are now open under the four conference themes: Inspire; Create; Imagine or Discover. Presentations can be either a stand-alone Oral Presentation or a Poster Presentation.

To have the opportunity to join these esteemed sector colleagues and present your chosen topic, simply submit your abstract (which must be no more than 300 words and be accompanied with a bio (50 words) & author details), online, click here.

Download a copy of the call for papers

Essential information

Applicants to present should identify which of the four conference themes their paper contributes to most directly:


Strong connections and lively collaborations are at the heart of practice and pedagogy in the early years for all children and families.

Learn More


When imagination meets evidence, practice and pedagogy are transformed. This lively theme will be hands-on, interactive and accessible.

Learn More


Light a spark. This theme will inspire, challenge and provoke new aspirations and innovation. Learn and reflect with peers and leaders…

Learn More


Every early childhood educator is a leader. New and experienced leaders will explore what it means to be a leader.

Learn More

The AJEC Research Symposium is scheduled the day before the conference and researchers are encouraged to attend the symposium for opportunities to share innovative research methodologies, findings and research with cutting edge partnerships and collaborations. For the conference, researchers are encouraged to consider focusing their proposal on the application of their research for practitioners and policy makers.


Session types

  1. Oral presentation: Individual paper presentation of 45 minutes (including discussion).
  2. Poster: A designated 15 minute time slot will be determined during the conference for authors to present their posters. A template to assist with your preparation of the poster design is available here or click the template button below. Criteria for the poster is:
    • The maximum size for posters is 1.2 metres (h) x 1.0 metres (w).
    • The title and author names should be clearly indicated at the top of the poster. Large letters should be used for the title (equivalent to 80-point font or larger).
    • All text on the poster should be legible from a distance of one metre. It is suggested that headings be in a minimum of 30-point font and that the body text be in a minimum of 24-point font.
    • Material arranged in columns is easier to read than material arranged in rows.
    • Presenters are encouraged to include visual aids (for example, images, flow charts, graphic representations of data) in their posters.
    • Posters should be printed on poster paper or assembled on light cardboard.
    • We suggest that presenters bring a minimum of 20 copies of a one-page handout based on their poster.

Download Template

Presenter registration

A condition of being able to present is that all presenters must register for the day on which they are presenting at the conference. If presenters wish to stay for the whole conference, payment needs to be made for the full three days. All presenters will receive the Early Childhood Australia (ECA) member discount rate for full conference registration.

Abstracts will be withdrawn from the conference program if registration and payment are not received by 25 July 2016.


Publication of papers

All presentations and full papers will be published on the conference website during the conference. Presentations will be converted to PDF format as they are received. Presentations will not be edited.

Some presentations and papers may also be separately published by ECA in the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood (AJEC) or Every Child magazine. These will be independently refereed according to the publications’ procedures.

Presenters wishing to publish their paper in AJEC will need to follow the standard submission procedures as outlined in the AJEC author guidelines.

The ECA Publications team will approach presenters independently regarding potential publication in Every Child magazine. This may involve presenters summarising their paper or presentation for a magazine format. Further instructions will be provided by the ECA Publications team as required.


Proposed audiovisual requirements

PowerPoint facilities (data projectors, computers and screens) along with internet access will be available for presenters. The conference will be networked, which means that your presentation will be available in the workshop room from a central location. You will need to provide us with your full and final electronic presentation by 11 July 2016 to ensure that your presentation is compatible with the system that will be used and loaded onto the Conference USB.

Review process

The Conference Program Committee will review all proposals submitted to the conference for presentation.

All applications to present will be reviewed by a panel including members of the Conference Program Committee. These reviews will not be blind reviews.

All applications to present will be assessed to ensure the quality and relevance of the presentations. This will be done in accordance with ECA selection criteria.

Selection criteria

The assessment of applications to present is a two-step process:

1 Each application will be assessed against the following criteria:


Relevance to the conference themes.


Abstracts should have a clear purpose for the presentation, using concise language which outlines the ideas and concepts to be presented.


Applications to present should introduce new ideas and understandings or develop and extend existing concepts. They should not merely repeat information already widely known. Applicants have the responsibility of notifying ECA if the paper has been presented previously and where.

Audience relevance and appeal

Applications to present should clearly indicate breadth of audience interest and relevance such as prior to school or schooling sectors, theory, practice, policy or research interests, or curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, partnerships or leadership.

Preference will be given to presentations that are going to have the most value for delegates, i.e. research findings with ready or clear applicability, projects that are replicable and strategies or approaches that others can take away and use in their own settings.

Free of commercial interest

Any paper that is selling or promoting a particular product or commercial service will not be accepted.

Research papers should include:

  • the aims of the project or research questions and/or focus of inquiry where applicable
  • research methods and/or analytical and/or theoretical framework in brief
  • strong emphasis on research findings and/or translation to practice and contribution to the field.

2 Applications which meet the criteria of the first stage are considered as a group, to ensure an overall balance of:

  • conference themes and strands
  • research and practice
  • presentation styles and the nature of the presentation
  • audience appeal and relevance.

If you are selected to present, you agree to the following Terms and Conditions:

  • ECA may record your presentation (audio or visual) and this may be used, for example, as a downloadable file on the ECA website.
  • Acknowledgement of the Indigenous people in the area and the country on which the conference is held at the start of your presentation/workshop. These words will be provided for you at the conference.
  • Availability for some media comment about the conference.
  • Presenters must be available to speak at any time during the conference.
  • Presenters may be asked to repeat their session if it proves to be popular and if delegates miss out.
  • You grant ECA the right to publish your paper on the conference website, and/or publish in various ECA publications.
  • A condition of being able to present is that all presenters must register for the day on which they are presenting at the conference. If presenters wish to stay for the whole conference, payment needs to be made for the full three days. All presenters will receive the Early Childhood Australia (ECA) member discount rate for full conference registration.
  • Abstracts will be withdrawn from the conference program if registration and payment are not received by 25 July 2016.

How to submit your abstract

In keeping with our drive to improve environmental sustainability, all abstracts must be submitted online.

Apply now

Instructions for completion of application:

  • Applications must be submitted online no later than 14 December 2015.
  • Abstracts must be no more than 300 words.
  • Biographies must be no more than 50 words.
  • Authors must supply a photo.
  • All abstracts and biographies received will undergo editing before being printed in the conference program.
  • Applications must address the selection criteria.

Applications received in any other way, including hard copy, will not be accepted.

Key dates

Item Date
Item Deadline Submission of application to present 14 December 2015
Review by program committee and authors notified of acceptance 22–29 January 2016
Draft program published on website 15–19 February 2016