Early Childhood Australia National Conference 2018

Conference Themes


ECA National Conference 2018 

Be the difference for children and families

Be the difference for children and families is the theme for Early Childhood Australia’s National Conference to be held in Sydney, 19–22 September 2018. This event brings people together to recognise the impact of high-quality early childhood education on the lives of young children and their families, as well as the importance of investing in ongoing professional development for educators, teachers and sector leaders. The conference will explore current and emerging practice, showcase professional development resources and facilitate deep reflective thinking. It is also a terrific opportunity to network with peers, meet with leading suppliers and see the latest technology available to support early childhood service delivery.  

Conference presentations will be aligned to one or more of the following areas of inquiry:

Leadership and ethics

Everyone can be a leader; leadership can encompass leading yourself, leading others and leading ideas. The most important factor in good leadership is having a strong ethical foundation for making decisions and navigating complex situations. This conference will explore both leadership and ethics in the early childhood profession; you will hear from experts and everyday leaders, with opportunities to develop your own identity as an ethical leader. You will also be invited to consider how you engage with ECA’s Code of Ethics and how it influences the way that you lead.

Rights and respect

Realising the right of every young child to thrive and to learn is at the heart of ECA’s purpose—it is why we exist. At the conference we will explore what this means both on a day-to-day basis in early childhood settings, but also for our collaborative work in advocacy, sector development and research. We will also explore our role as a voice for children—how do we give children a voice, particularly very young children? As a professional network, are we respectful towards young children and their families? Do they have agency in our work or could we do more? 

Contemporary practice in teaching and learning

Together we will explore the current and emerging trends in early childhood teaching and learning.  This is the conference to find out what the research is telling us about the importance of play, the role of digital technology and the efficacy of intentional teaching practices across developmental stages. There will be new and highly practical content relevant to curriculum areas such as language and literacy, maths and numeracy, science and technology, music, art and creativity, all presented by experienced educators with specialist knowledge.

Risks and resilience

Early childhood is when the foundations for lifelong learning and wellbeing are established. Too many young children are exposed to multiple risk factors and may be experiencing cumulative harm or trauma. It is critical that we continue to develop the skills of early childhood professionals to recognise this and know how to respond effectively to complex individual needs. We also need to work together with other professional disciplines to deliver programs that build protective factors against long-term issues such as mental health problems, family violence, abuse and bullying. This conference will showcase professional development resources and inter-disciplinary collaboration working to reduce risk and build resilience.