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Early Childhood Education Foundation

Early Childhood Education Foundation

We strive to ensure that children from families experiencing financial difficulties have access to a funded kindergarten program which will enhance their opportunities to succeed in life. 

To support vulnerable children to attend kindergarten programs to help build their brains and bodies now and set them up for positive health in the future.

Our Vision
A healthier, fairer Australia where children are supported according to their needs to reach their potential.

The Early Childhood Education Foundation (ECEF) was established by Dr. Terry Nienhuys in 1997 with the purpose of providing funding to enable disadvantaged children to attend kindergarten for free. With Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) appointed as the trustee, supported by the generosity of donors, philanthropic funds and businesses, the ECEF has provided support to thousands of families to enable their children to attend kindergarten.

There is an overwhelming body of Australian and International research that supports the critical importance of quality Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. The long-term benefits to the community and economy are also compelling. The need to access quality ECEC is even more acute for pre-school aged children deemed ‘vulnerable’. For many of these children, what happens in their preschool years sets them on a path for life.

Why we need your help

  • The ECEF helps to ensure that vulnerable children don’t miss out on kindergarten
  • Neuroscience tells us that 90% of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years of life
  • 1 in 5 Australian children start school developmentally vulnerable
  • 2 in 5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children start school developmentally vulnerable
  • With the COVID-19 pandemic increasing child vulnerability there’s a greater need to assist with alleviating the costs of kindergarten
  • The ages of 3 – 5 years old are considered ‘the sweet spot’ for reducing disadvantage in readiness for school it’s vital that a child’s kindergarten attendance is not disrupted

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Contact Details

L7, 222 Exhibition St


Are donations tax deductible?


Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.

ELAA acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we live and work and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. Our office is on the land of the Wurundjeri people, the Traditional Custodians of the land.

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