Early Childhood Australia (ECA) held their 2022 conference at the National Convention Centre in Canberra from the 6th to the 8th of October. With the previous conference being held online due to COVID, this was the first time in a couple of years that the conference was able to be held in person again. The conference’s theme was “Passion to power: Our future profession” and called for timely reflection on how far the sector has come, from the visionary and passionate women of the 1920s to the competent and qualified educators of the 2020s.
Additionally, it was a time to look to the future of the sector and consider how to position early childhood professionals as thought leaders and powerbrokers. Having been a voice for young children since 1938, Early Childhood Australia is a peak industry organisation that acts in the interest of young children, their families and those in the early childhood field. ECA’s vision is to ensure that every young child is thriving and learning, an evident theme throughout the annual conference.
During the week, over 1,600 in-person delegates and an additional 600 virtual attendees enjoyed a packed schedule of 100+ workshops and breakout sessions. Attendees were able to hear from respected leaders in the ECEC sector, such as Dr Melinda Miller, Colin Slattery, Anthony Semann & Pippa Procter, and Dr Michele Peden & Bridy Garnon. Furthermore, there was also a welcome address from the Hon Jason Clare MP, Federal Minister for Education, as well as keynote addresses from Dylan Alcott AO and Dr Laura Jana.
A highlight of the conference for many delegates was the well-received address by The Hon Julia Gillard AC in conversation with Catherine Liddle, CEO, SNAICC – National Voice for our Children. The two discussed the importance of investing in early childhood education and care, gender equality and closing the gap. The program also included a presentation of awards to four researchers and ECEC advocates in recognition of their contributions to the lives of children, the early childhood profession and the sector.
Another event long associated with the ECA conference was the HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards. This awards night is a celebration and acknowledgment of the vital role our early childhood educators play in helping young Australians succeed. The three categories for the awards are Advancing Pedagogy & Practice, Outstanding Organisation and Individual Leadership. Xplor congratulates all the finalists and the winners of each award.
As one of the country’s most prominent early childhood education conferences, the ECA conference presented a unique opportunity to showcase the Xplor and QikKids brands in a co-branded booth under the Xplor Childcare & Education banner. This was the first time since the merger that both brands were co-represented in a single booth, introducing the broader market to the Xplor Childcare & Education brand and our leading ECEC products in Australia, Office, QikKids, Playground, Home and MyWaitlist.
General Manager, Matt Varley, attended the conference on Thursday and said it was “Great to be back in-person in Canberra, connecting with customers, people who are looking to move to new software like QikKids and Xplor and connecting with people in the sector was fantastic.” Our custom-built booth created its own hub for discussion and connection, resulting in many great interactions with conference delegates and other exhibitors who were excited to see all that Xplor Childcare and Education had to offer. Early Childhood Australia hosted another successful conference and announced their 2023 conference will be in Adelaide from the 4th to the 7th of October.