Your first step into early childhood education & care
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Early childhood development

If you are interested in learning more about the importance of the early years, brain development and how giving your child the best start can set them up for life, check out some of these links.

Australian Early Development Census

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is an Australian Government Initiative.It is a nationwide survey that shows how young Australian children have developed as they start their first year of full-time education.It highlights what is working well and what needs to be improved or developed to support children and their families.The AEDC is a census that helps create a snapshot of early childhood development in Australia. It takes place every three years and the next one will happen in 2015.

Australian Institute of Family Studies

The Australian Institute of Family Studies is a national research and information agency on children and families in Australia. Includes research, publications, online library, and further links and resources for professionals.

Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) is a national collaboration of eminent experts disseminating knowledge about problems and solutions to issues affecting children and young people.

Center on the Developing Child

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University was founded in 2006 on the belief that the vitality and sustainability of any society depend on the extent to which it expands opportunities early in life for all children to achieve their full potential and engage in responsible and productive citizenship. They view healthy child development as the foundation of economic prosperity, strong communities, and a just society. Our mission is to drive science-based innovation that achieves breakthrough outcomes for children facing adversity.

Centre for Community Child Health

The Centre for Community Child Health is an internationally recognised centre of excellence supporting and empowering communities to continually improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of children and their families, now and for the future.

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute is dedicated to finding ways to prevent and treat conditions affecting babies, children and adolescents, helping them lead happy, healthy lives. The Institute has close partnerships with the Royal Children's Hospital and the University of Melbourne.  

Zero to Three

Zero to Three is a nonprofit organization in the United States that provides parents, professionals and policymakers the knowledge and the know-how to nurture early development. Its mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life.

 

Regulatory authorities

A regulatory authority in each state and territory regulates and assesses early childhood education services. You can contact the regulatory authority in your state or territory if you are looking for more information about a particular service, including if you want to make a complaint. Links to regulatory authority websites are below or you can find their full contact details here.

 

Help with choosing and finding child care

There is a lot of information around to help you make decisions about the right child care for you and where to find it. There are pages on government websites with helpful tips about how to choose the right fit for you and your family. There are also peak associations with more detailed information about the different service types.

Department of Education and Training

Through a range of policies and programs, the Department of Education and Training helps to provide families with access to quality early childhood education. 

Early Childhood Intervention Australia

Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) is a national forum for promotion of early intervention for infants and young children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families, including workshops, seminars and conferences to facilitate quality service provision.

Early Learning Association Australia

Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) is a not-for-profit, peak membership organisation representing the voice of parents and early learning providers. ELAA represents over 1200 early childhood services, including stand-alone kindergartens, cluster managers, integrated services, long day care centres, local government, government and independent schools, and before and after-school care providers, and provides a range of resources, advisory, training, and advocacy services.

Family Day Care Australia

Family Day Care Australia is a national peak body which supp the strength and continued growth of the sector in Australia.

Good Beginnings Australia

Good Beginnings builds better outcomes for children in vulnerable communities through effective early intervention programs. Good Beginnings provides free early childhood and practical parenting programs for children and families across Australia, based at their Early Years Centres or home visits.

Inclusion and Professional Support Program

The objective of the Inclusion and Professional Support Program (IPSP) is to promote and maintain high quality, inclusive education and care, for all children, including those with ongoing high support needs, in eligible child care and early learning settings. This is achieved by increasing the knowledge and skills of educators, and the capacity of services, through providing professional development, advice and access to additional resources and inclusion support.

Isolated Children's Parents' Association of Australia

The Isolated Children's Parents' Association provides support, advice and advocacy for parents in isolated communities. It is a voluntary national parent body dedicated to ensuring that all geographically isolated students have equality with their non-isolated peers, of access to an appropriate education.

MyTime

MyTime groups provide support for mothers, fathers, grandparents and anyone caring for a child with a disability or chronic medical condition. MyTime provides a place to socialise, to discuss, to get information, and to support and be supported by other carers.

Mychild.gov.au

Mychild is Australia’s online childcare portal containing information for families, carers and providers. The website provides information about children’s early learning, care and wellbeing. It includes information on different types of child care, how to access help with the cost of child care, a searchable database of local child care services, other relevant links and support.

National Out of School Hours Services Association

The National Out of School Hours Services Association (NOSHSA) is a network of all Australian State and Territory Out of School Hours Services Associations. These organisations promote provision of Out of School Hours Services and act as a united voice to advocate both to Government and the community for excellence in service provision.

Occasional Child Care Australia

Occasional Child Care Australia is a resource and advocacy body on matters relating to occasional care centres across Australia.

Playgroups Australia

Playgroup Australia is the national peak and representative body for playgroups in Australia.

Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care

The Secretariat of National Aborginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) is the national non government peak body in Australia representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters

The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a home-based early learning and parenting program for families with young children. Families start HIPPY the year before their child starts school (usually around four years old) and continue during their first year of school.

HIPPY is a voluntary program and is free for families.


Parenting help

If you are after assistance with parenting issues such as breastfeeding, managing behaviour or irregular sleep, you may find help here.

Raising Children Network

The Raising Children Network website provides tips and tools for everyday parenting from pregnancy to teens.

 

Health and nutrition

Cancer Council Australia 

As Australia's peak national non-government cancer control organisation, Cancer Council Australia advises the Australian Government and other bodies on practices and policies to help prevent, detect and treat cancer. Cancer Council Australia launched the national SunSmart Schools program in 1998. The program has grown rapidly and there are now more than 2500 SunSmart schools and 3500 SunSmart childcare centres across the country.

Department of Health

The Department of Health and Ageing is responsible for supporting better health and active ageing for all Australians. Information is available on a wide range of conditions and diseases, education and prevention, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues and topics relevant to ageing and aged care.