Australia's best early childhood educators awarded

Nominations open for the 2020 HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards, $30k pool.
May 26, 2020
$30k prize pool
Exception work awarded

Exceptional early childhood professionals are being sought as nominations open for the 2020 HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards.

The annual Awards, which have a $30,000 prize pool up for grabs, recognise early childhood educators and carers who have demonstrated excellence in improving learning outcomes for children.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said making a nomination was a way to celebrate the people working to improve the lives of young children.

“The role early educators and carers play in a child’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development is critical,” Blakey said.

“There is excellent and innovative work being done in the sector every day to enhance the delivery and outcomes of early childhood education, and submitting a nomination is one way we can recognise these people and their important contributions to society.

Employers, colleagues and families have until 25 September to nominate individuals and organisations – working with children from birth to eight years of age – who demonstrate innovation, quality improvement and enhanced learning outcomes for young children in a variety of settings, including preschool, long day care, primary school or outside-of-hours care.

HESTA Awards sponsor ME bank has donated the prize money, with the winner of each category – Advancing Pedagogy and Practice, Outstanding Organisation and Individual Leadership – to receive $10,000 for further education, service or team development.

ME CEO Jamie McPhee said the organisation was thrilled to partner with HESTA once again to recognise excellence in the sector.

“Each year, ME is proud to support and witness to the countless waves of early childhood professionals who display exceptional leadership and pave the way for further innovations in their respective fields,” Mr McPhee said.

Finalists will receive complimentary registration for the Early Childhood Australia National Conference, with interstate finalists flown to Brisbane to attend the Awards dinner on 23 April 2021.

For more information or to submit a nomination, visit

The 2019 winners were: 

Advancing Pedagogy and Practice
Adamstown Community Early Learning and Preschool (ACELP) - Practitioner Research Team
Adamstown NSW
Awarded for their research-based curriculum, which increased children’s ability to perceive, assess and manage risks during play.

Building Inclusion
Goodstart Blue Haven 
Blue Haven NSWAwarded for developing a range of programs to foster an inclusive learning environment for vulnerable children attending the childcare centre.

Outstanding Graduate 
Stacey Cumming
Aurora School for Young Deaf and Deafblind Children
Blackburn South Vic
Awarded for teaching young deaf and deafblind children to learn and develop skills in Auslan and spoken language, helping them become effective communicators in their early developmental years.