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CHILD Australia, ECU and YMCA bring early childhood experts to WA

Tuesday, 31 March 2009


Academics, educators and childcare professionals from across Australia will converge on Perth this week for the Western Australian Childcare and Early Childhood Education Conference.

Organised by Edith Cowan University (ECU), Child Australia and YMCA Perth, the conference brings together experts in childcare and early childhood education from around the world.

Delegates to the conference will be welcomed by The Hon Robyn McSweeney, Western Australian Minister for Child Protection; Community Services; Seniors and Volunteering; and Women's Interests at a reception on Friday, 3 April, with Saturday's session opened by Ms Maxine McKew, Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and Child Care, and Sunday's session by The Hon Dr Elizabeth Constable, Western Australian Minister for Education; and Tourism.

Mr Dawson Ruhl, Chief Executive Officer of CHILD Australia WA's leading community-based child-focused professional support agency for the early childhood education and care sector said high quality childcare and a nationally integrated approach to early childhood policy was high on the Commonwealth Government's agenda. Mr Ruhl said he was pleased that the Conference has been able to attract such a high calibre of international experts to contribute to the dialogue here in Australia.

"Additionally, the attendance of WA Ministers McSweeney and Constable, and Federal Parliamentary Secretary McKew indicates support across both levels of government for broad reform of early childhood education and care nationally," he said

Professor Brenda Cherednichenko, Executive Director of the Faculty of Education and Arts at ECU said the University was pleased to be supporting the conference.

"The early years of a child's life are critical to the development of their personality, ability to learn, and sense of self. We hope that the sharing of ideas and practices at this conference will lead to greater understanding of how to enhance the care of children," she said.

YMCA Perth also welcomed the conference and the opportunity to partner in its development. Jennie Burns, YMCA's Family and Children's Services Manager said that professional development was essential to the sector and to ensuring Western Australian children were provided with teachers and carers who were not only passionate and committed, but who were also well trained.

"This conference provides a wealth of knowledge and experience for the sector and is well supported by government and Lotterywest. It shouldn't be missed," she said. 

Keynote speakers at the conference include:

  • Professor Ron Lally - Co-Director, Centre for Child and Family Studies, WestEd, San Francisco USA
  • Professor Frank Oberklaid, Director, Centre for Community Child Health - Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  • Professor Jane Bertrand - Professor at the School of Early Childhood at George Brown in Toronto, Canada
  • Dr Jennifer Sumsion, Foundation Professor of Early Childhood Education, Charles Sturt University Faculty of Education, Bathurst, Australia.

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Media contact:

Corporate Communications
(08) 6304 2131
0402 016 344
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