Our History

ELAA’s history dates back to the early 1990s and reflects the increasing recognition of the importance of early learning.

Kindergarten Parents Victoria (now Early Learning Association Australia) was established in 1991 to ensure that early childhood education thrived in Victoria.

The organisation sprang from the vision and dedication of two key founders – Marg Stephens and Karen Weston who, with other parents passionate about the right of children to access high quality education, formed a group called Parent Action for Kindergartens over 30 years ago.

The group worked with Victorian members of Parliament; the Office of Preschool and Childcare; and a variety of organisations such as the Australian Early Childhood Association and the Anglican and Uniting Churches Early Childhood Industrial Council toward the formation of a State-wide organisation. In May 1991, KPV was officially launched by the then Premier, Joan Kirner, at the Collingwood Children’s Centre.

KPV was established at a time when kindergartens were almost exclusively managed by parent volunteer committees, offering programs run in community buildings owned by church groups or local councils, during a climate of proposed funding cuts to kindergarten operating grants and staff salaries.

Today, kindergarten programs are delivered by a variety of providers in a range of settings. This is reflected in our membership which includes stand-alone kindergartens, Early Years Managers, integrated services, long day care centres, local government services, independent and government schools and before and after-school care providers. The introduction of the National Quality Framework has elevated the focus of the work we do to the national level.

ELAA continues the mission of KPV and has grown in its capacity to support the needs of members through advocacy; industrial relations and management advice; professional development programs; training for committees; management resources; plus a range of member benefits and sector specific communications.

Read more about our history

Images and faces from ELAA’s past