Conference Themes


ECA National Conference 2019 

From vision to action

From vision to action is the theme for Early Childhood Australia’s (ECA) National Conference, to be held in Hobart, Tasmania, from 25–28 September 2019. The 2019 conference will expand on ECA’s strategic priorities to progress its vision of ‘Every young child is thriving and learning’.

This conference will explore current and emerging practice to enhance young children’s experiences across the spectrum of service and education settings they attend. This includes early childhood education and care (ECEC) as well as the early years of school, outside school hours care and child/parent programs such as playgroups and family centres. The conference will engage participants in a discourse on rights, wellbeing and quality improvement to facilitate deep reflective thinking to enhance ongoing professional learning and development.

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

Speak up for children

Can you articulate, through research or good practice, how professionals and collaborators give young children and their families a voice? How do we represent their rights and interests, and how do we know that we are being authentic in doing so—both within early childhood settings as well as the community or societal level? Let’s share ideas and examples of how we can collaborate to amplify the voice of children and ensure they have agency in our work.

Build social capital

It is not enough that early childhood experts understand the importance of the early years. We also need to educate the community and key decision-makers so that Australian society can support young children to thrive. The needs of young children must be recognised and accommodated across layers of government and the diversity of human service systems. Let’s explore this: How can we build social capital for young children through education and through community engagement? What lessons have we learnt that will help others be more effective?

Quality early education

Do we have a shared understanding of ‘quality’ in children’s services? How do we measure quality and how do we know that we are improving quality? Presentations will include research and action research related to quality improvement approaches, such as new and emerging tools and practices. We will be sharing insights that help to build understanding and promote quality improvement across settings and service types—including playgroups, family centres, family day care, early education services, preschool/kindergarten, the early years of school and outside school hours services.

Professional learning

Being a member of a profession is an indicator of integrity, ethics, trust and expertise. It means that we adhere to ethical standards and possess special knowledge and skills derived from research, education and training at a high level. It is expected that professionals continue learning and building a shared knowledge base throughout their career. Presentations will focus on the latest trends in continuing professional learning and examples of innovation, research and exemplar practice in training and mentoring. You will also be invited to consider how you engage with ECA’s Code of Ethics and how it influences your professional practice.

Inspiring leadership and effective governance

Good governance and strong leadership are essential for long-term success in any organisation, but also for the early childhood sector overall. Are we fostering the leaders that will be needed for early childhood education to be effective and sustainable into the future? Do we have the governance structures right – in relation to service delivery as well as sector advocacy and the development of the profession? Engage in a discussion with peers and experts about driving and restraining forces affecting our capability as a sector and a profession, while also developing your own skills and knowledge in these critical areas.