Aussie Educator

Early Childhood

Early Childhood is the first level of lifelong education, accepted as ranging from birth to 8 years of age. It covers the period before school to the first years of schooling in the Australian system. Included are child development, parental assisted learning, preschool education and the first years of formal education.

The Early Education Show ‘Talking the policy and politics of young children and early education in Australia. To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts’.

Early Childhood development, support and education across all states & territories and national information are found on this page.

Early Childhood Conference details are listed here.

Related pages include Primary Education, Enrolments and Early Childhood Resources.

States & Territories

Non-government Preschool/Day Care/Kindergarten sites are too extensive and too changeable to be listed here. To find a suitable centre use the following.

Talk to people in your neighbourhood about where their children attend Preschool/Day Care/Kindergarten and see which they recommend. Check other, possible options online, in the telephone book/local newspapers, through church affiliations or other sources you consider acceptable;

Contact ones you believe worthwhile and arrange to visit and talk to them.

Note the standard of the educational programme being offered, care provided, stimulus, activities, … , then make a decision based on as many facts as you can.

If it doesn’t work as well as you think, look at other options available to you until both you and your child are happy with their placement.

The same points apply when using a government preschool.

With these [] you need to go to the individual council site [usually listed on the right hand side]. Most will be found listed under “Services” or “Community Services”.

Australian Capital Territory


New South Wales

  • Community Child Care Co-operative NSW
    ‘Providing resources, support and skill development opportunities for education and care services providers’.
  • Early Childhood Education
    ‘The Early Childhood Education Directorate monitors, supports and regulates early childhood education services in NSW’. Multiple information sections.
  • Updated ! Transition to School
    ‘This resource provides a community-wide approach to the transition to school’. Sections for different groups from families and children to schools. Early Childhood Intervention Australia [NSW].


  • NSW Family Day Care
    Information for parents and potential carers.
  • NSW Local Government Preschools
    Under local government districts. []
  • Playgroup NSW
    Information, contact, services.
  • Preschool
    NSW Department of Education. ‘Quality and regulations; Professional resources; Contacts; Policies and procedures; Starting school; Enrolment; Frequently asked questions’.

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Northern Territory



  • Early Childhood Education and Care
    ‘Providing Queensland children with the flying start to life they deserve. Responsible for approving, licensing and regulating early childhood education and care services in Queensland’.
  • Early Childhood Development Programs and Services prior to Prep
  • Early Years of Learning
    ‘Early childhood education in Queensland state schools is characterised by quality curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and reporting that responds to the capabilities of young children from Preparatory to Year 3’.
  • eKindy
    ‘A comprehensive ‘at home’ kindergarten program for children in the year before Prep. The program is supported by a qualified early childhood teacher and covers 15 hours of Kindergarten for 40 weeks a year’.
  • Families as First Teachers
    ‘Builds the capacity of families and community members to engage with their children in positive early learning experiences’. Overview, links to related information, more.
  • Kindergarten Curriculum
    ‘Provides advice for planning, interacting with children, monitoring and assessing, and sharing information in kindergarten contexts’. Download the Guidelines and/or the Guideline Companion or use other links.


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South Australia

  • Childcare
    ‘Choosing a Child Care Service; Starting Preschool; Services and programs; Types of Childcare’.
  • Early Childhood, Education and Care
    Multiple information sections cover all required information. Very extensive.
  • Updated ! Early Years [DECD]
    ‘Find information on the frameworks that guide what and how your children are taught and cared for in SA government preschools, schools and child care services’.
  • Echo, Early Childhood Organisation Inc SA
    ‘A group of South Australian educators and carers whose focus is on children from birth to eight years of age’.
  • Education Standards Board
    ‘The Board is responsible for approving early childhood services and registering schools. The Board is responsible for issuing approvals and waivers to service providers and certificates to service supervisors’. Sections include Early Childhood information, Useful Links, Publications, more.
  • Types of Early Childhood Services
    ‘There are many early childhood services available to families. Some organisations offer more than one of these services. Families with children enrolled in a government preschool, rural care, occasional care, family day care or respite care service will be asked to provide evidence of their child’s immunisation status by the end of term 1 2017’. Multiple sections include links to different types of services.



  • Belonging, Being and Becoming
    ‘The foundation document for ensuring children in all early years settings experience quality teaching and learning’. Includes link to a Families Guide.
  • Child and Family Centres
    ‘Child and Family Centres are places for families with children birth to 5 to access a range of services’.
  • Early Childhood Intervention Services
    ‘Early Childhood Intervention Services support children with a disability or developmental delay from birth to school entry, and their families’.
  • Early Years Overview
    ‘Identifies the importance of providing a “Bright Beginning” for all young children and their families’. Multiple topics. Department of Education.
  • Education and Care
    Links to a wide range of information on topics relevant to early childhood education and care. Links page is of considerable value..
  • Tasmanian Early Years Foundation
    ‘Supports and promotes the wellbeing, development and learning of Tasmanian children up to the age of 6 years’.


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  • Updated ! Best Start
    ‘Aims to improve the health, development, learning and wellbeing of all Victorian children [0-8 years]’. Their Updated ! Best Start Aboriginal Resources page is worth visiting. Also check the Updated ! Aboriginal Best Start information.
  • Child Care Alliance Victoria
    Australian Childcare Alliance, Victoria. Information, services, events, links.
  • Community Child Care Association
    ‘An independent non-profit organisation that provides training, resources, advice and advocacy’.
  • Updated ! Early Childhood [DET]
    Sections for Parents, professionals and service providers.
  • Updated ! Early Childhood Learning
    ‘Practical guides, framework information and help for completing Transition Statements’.
  • Updated ! Early Childhood Professionals
    ‘Information and guidelines on teaching, child health and development to support your work. You’ll also learn more about professional development and training opportunities’.
  • Updated ! Early Childhood - For Parents
    ‘Supporting the early years of your child’s development, from birth and your first maternal and child health appointment through to playgroups, childcare, kindergarten and starting school’.
  • New ! Early Years Reform Plan [DET]
    ‘Outlines directions and actions to continue to improve all children’s outcomes ’.
  • Updated ! Education State in Early Childhood
    ‘The findings from the state-wide Education State Early Childhood consultation have been released’.
  • Updated ! Kindergarten Guide
    ‘Designed to assist services that provide kindergarten programs and currently receive or wish to apply for funding from the Department’.
  • Updated ! Mental Health : Promoting Healthy Minds for Living and Learning
    ‘The Victorian government is committed to building the capacity of schools and early childhood education and care settings to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people’.
  • Youth Research Centre
    University of Melbourne. ‘Projects focus on the early years through to young adulthood and on the institutions and organisations that serve their needs. Services available include Research & Consultancies, Postgraduate Student Supervision, Teaching and Publications & Resources’.


Western Australia

  • Best Beginnings
    Department for Child Protection. ‘Best Beginnings is a home visiting service for families of new infants’.
  • Early Childhood Education
    Director General’s Statement, Initiatives, Guidelines, Resources, Child and parent Centres, Starting School Calculator, links, more.
  • Early Education []
    Better Beginning Family Literacy Program, Early Childhood Education, Kindergarten and Pre-Primary links.


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National Information

  • Child Care Access Hotline
    Freecall 1800 670 305
    Between 8.00am and 9.00pm Monday to Friday [charges apply on calls from public pay phones or mobile phones]’.
    Information for Hearing Impaired, Speak and Listen Users and Internet Relay Users [bottom of page].

Department of Education and Training [C’wealth]

  • Early Learning
    Programs, agendas, resources, reports, news, more. Related sections include :

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Other Government Sites

    ‘Working with State and Territory Governments and the early childhood sector to implement changes to education and care that will benefit young children and their families’. Important pages include :
  • Child Care Fact Sheets
    ‘Information about a range of Australian Government services and programmes designed to support families’.
  • Find a Child Care Service ‘Only approved child care services that provided fee information are currently listed. You can phone the Child Care Access Hotline on 1800 670 305 to find a complete listing of all Child Care Benefit approved services in your area’.
  • Information on Child Care and Early Learning
    This page has links to ten major areas of these.
  • MyChild Early Childhood Resources
    Listed in nine major groups including Educational and research child care sites, Fact Sheets, Frequently Asked Questions and a Glossary.
  • Preschool Education, Australia, 2015
    ‘This publication presents statistics on children enrolled in and attending a preschool program across Australia in 2015’. Compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following may contain images and voices of deceased persons.

Actions, activities, reports and groups specifically to develop/improve Indigenous early learning throughout Australia, as well as similar programs overseas. Check specific program/activity links in the state listings.

  • Engaging Indigenous Families in Preparing Children for School
    2008; Carrington Shepherd, Roz Walker. ‘Examines the research and practice evidence relating to engaging parents and families in early development and the process of school readiness’.
  • Programmes for Indigenous Families
    ‘To bring better health and education services together to give Indigenous children a good start in life’. Part of the MyChild site.
  • School Readiness in Indigenous Children
    2007; Gary Robinson, Georgie Nutton, Nick McTurk, Tess Lea, Jonathan Carapetis. ‘Aims to draw together current thinking on school readiness for Indigenous children and to propose elements of an agenda for research, early intervention and policy action’. PDF document.
    ‘National non-government peak body in Australia representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families’.
  • Supporting Transition to School for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children
    SNAICC. ‘Explores current knowledge of how schools, communities, families and early childhood services can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to begin, and thrive at, primary school’.

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Other Bodies

    ‘Encourages collaboration between researchers, policy makers and practitioners from a broad range of disciplines. ARACY’s founders believed that by working together we are more likely to uncover solutions to the problems affecting children and young people than by working in isolation’.
  • Australian Childcare Alliance
    At present, only contact details are provided, with a new website being developed.
  • Australian Community Children’s Services
    Peak representative body for all Australian community owned children’s services including Long Day Care and Out of School Hours Care services.
  • Community Connections Solutions Australia
    ‘A not-for-profit, non-government, membership-based organisation that supports the management of high-quality early childhood services and other community organisations’.
  • Early Childhood Australia
    ‘Works with Government, early childhood professionals, parents, other carers of young children and various lobby groups to secure the best range of options and outcomes for children as they grow and develop’. Their Code of Ethics is worth reading. You could also look at their report Early Childhood - Flexibility Practices and Patterns which ‘highlights recommendations and future directions for early childhood education and care services in providing flexible arrangements for families and local communities’.
  • Playgroup - National
    “What is playgroup ?”, news, contacts, general information, state and territory groups, search for a playgroup, other links.
  • Raising Children Network
    Everything from newborns to school age even a section for grown-ups. Tools and activities, forums, services, support, more. Links to playgroups and support services.

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