Home > 2016 Awards Nominations Open

2016 Awards Nominations Open

MEDIA RELEASE Australian Family Early Education & Care Awards






More Australian Children in Early Childhood Education and Care Services Demands Acknowledgement of Sector Professionals 

1,201,110 Australian Children Attended Approved Childcare*  

90% of Australian Children in Formal Early Childhood Education and Care due to Parents’ Employment*

Australian Children aged 0-12 in Formal Early Childhood Education and Care Spend Average of

15 Hours per Week – 51% Attending 1 to 2 Weekdays each week *


The Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards - Recognising Australia’s Early Childhood Professionals

With over one million Australian children now attending approved childcare, 90% of Australian children are in formal early childhood education and care. With an average time of 15 hours per week, due to parents’ employment responsibilities, the acknowledgement of quality early childhood education and care has never been more important. 

The Early Childhood and Child Care in Summary report* released by the Australian Government reveals a year on year increase in Australians’ dependence on early childhood education and care, accompanied by an increase in approved child care services.  The Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards recognises the pivotal role these professionals play in the social, emotional, physical and educational development of young Australian lives.   

Now in its 12th year, the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards is the sector’s peak awards for the early years education sector celebrating the dedication, tireless work and passion of the outstanding leaders and services in Australian communities.   

Nominations are now open for the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards’ in four categories: Director of the Year, Service of the Year, Educator of the Year and the Rising Star Award (open to people who have worked in early childhood for five years or less – regardless of their age). All levels of experience and qualification are accepted across all program types, including long day care (private and community), family day care, occasional care, preschool, early learning centres and school age care groups. 

Family, friends, colleagues and parents with children in care are encouraged to nominate in this year’s awards which is overseen by Judging Chairman and Australian Family Managing Director, Paul Clancy.  The Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards is judged by a distinguished panel of professionals from the early childhood sector through a rigorous judging process. The judges seek individuals and services that best reflect the highest of quality in their everyday work with young children.

Each received nomination is reviewed by representatives of Australian Family including Paul Clancy and Jennifer Kernahan, Editor and University tutor (B.ED) to determine the Australian Family Early Education & Care Awards Finalists on April 18 2016.  Each finalist will need to demonstrate their achievements in practice and commitment to five key areas aligned with the National Quality Standards (the federal government-mandated professional standards for children’s services) regulated by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Authority (ACECQA). 

These five areas are: improving the wellbeing of the children, improving the children’s program, improving the early childhood service, ongoing professional learning and development and improving inclusive interactions and partnerships with families.

Each Finalist is scrutinised by the judging panel who will reveal the State Winners on May 17 2016.  To determine the national winner of each category, the state winners will all meet with the judging panel to present their promise to ongoing quality improvement and innovation as part of a three day professional development event in June. 

Judging Chairman and Australian Family Managing Director, Paul Clancy comments, “As more and more Australian families use early childhood education and care sector services, it is critical Australian children are in the very best of care.  It is these early development stages where young children begin to grow socially, emotionally, physically and educationally yet as parents how often do we acknowledge the quality care and education our young children receive when they aren’t in our care?  There are so many committed and caring directors, educators, rising stars and services in Australia entrusted in the development of young lives and it is our job as parents and guardians to thank and praise their efforts”.       

The national winners of each category will be announced at the Australian Family Early Education & Care Awards Gala Event on Friday June 17 2016 and share in over $75,000 in prizes including $40,000 in training and professional development grants.   Nominations open now at www.earlyeducationandcareawards.com.au and close at midnight March 13 2016.


Statistics sources:

*Baxter, J. A. (2015). Child care and early childhood education in Australia (Facts Sheet 2015). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Other 10% attended due to other parent-related/other reasons and child-related reasons

Australian Government Department of Social Services – Early Childhood and Child Care in Summary September quarter 2014


About Australian Family

Paul Clancy is the Managing Director of Australian Family and has been the instigator of the research and development behind the company’s biannual publication, Australian Family Magazine, the extension website www.australianfamily.com.au and the annual Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards. 

Formed in 1997, Paul Clancy saw a clear void in the community for relevant and up to date information on parenting issues for parents of children older than two years of age and commenced publishing Australian Family Magazine.  Providing quality and informative content to over 240,000 families, the magazine is delivered in an easy to read manner and with a down to earth style to be relevant and suit the lives of busy parents. 

The company’s digital investment includes social media platforms allowing Australian Family to connect and interact with families on a regular daily basis – providing much-needed, timely and well-informed parenting/caring advice.   

In 2005, Paul Clancy established the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards (formerly named Australian Family Childcare Awards) recognizing early childhood educators and services across the country.

Media Contact:  Adele Feletto Publicity M: 0413 489 292 E: adele@adelefelettopublicity.com.au