ACCESS TO QUALITY
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
HAS POSITIVE, LIFELONG EFFECTS
The ACT Children First Alliance is a network of longstanding not-for-profit providers of children’s services in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), including early learning centres, family day care, preschool and after school care. Together we operate 43 Early Learning Centres (ELCs) with 3,491 places.
The Alliance was established to develop and communicate a shared vision for early childhood education and care (ECEC) in the ACT and to ensure that all children have access to ECEC.
OUR FOUNDING MEMBERS
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
We believe that ECEC policies and programs should be underpinned by the six following principles:
Children first – In determining future directions for ECEC, the needs and outcomes of the child should be the primary consideration for policy makers.
Evidence – There is considerable evidence on what constitutes effective ECEC. As providers of ECEC, we are committed to implementing evidence-based approaches within our Early Learning Centres (ELCs) and School Age Care. We also work to advocate for evidence-based policies across the sector.
Quality – Quality is key to ensuring that children get the lifelong benefits of ECEC. We support the implementation of the National Quality Standards (NQS) across all centres. We aspire to have our centres exceeding these standards.
Equity – Some children experience significant disadvantage and require additional support to ensure that they have the best start in life. The principle of equity underpins all that we do, as we ensure that children’s needs are met, both within and beyond the education and care setting.
Accessibility – All families should be able to access affordable, quality ECEC. This is particularly important to ensure that the needs of all the children are being met in the ECEC they are receiving.
Whole of child, whole of community – The early years are vital to developing skills and qualities that remain with children for life. As community sector providers of ECEC and School Age Care, we take seriously our role to provide support to children in a holistic manner, including determining the needs of the child and family, beyond their immediate education and care needs.