In August 1997, the Early Childhood Education Foundation was established by Dr Terry Nienhuys with the sole purpose of providing funding to enable disadvantaged children to attend a kindergarten in their local area.

Over 60,000 children access kindergarten programs across Victoria each year. Many of these children miss out on the opportunity to attend a quality kindergarten program in the year before they commence school because their parents are unable to afford the fees.

The Foundation strives 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 by providing funds that contribute to attendance fees.
  • develop a program where contributions from donors such as the community, kindergarten services, other organisations and the corporate sector support its mission.

Thank you to our donors
ELAA thanks all those who have given so generously to the Early Childhood Education Foundation over the past 22 years.

Contributions to the Early Childhood Education Foundation are essential to its continuation and are greatly welcomed.

22 years
Quality early learning possible for children who may otherwise miss out

Families assisted


Jack’s parents, John and Suzie, value the importance of early childhood education for their children. They witnessed the positive effects of attending kindergarten on their eldest child, Katie, as her confidence grew prior to starting school. They wanted the same experience for Jack but a cancer diagnosis for Suzie meant that she could not work and John had to take time off to support her during treatment which made meeting kindergarten fees difficult. Assistance from the ECEF meant that Jack could continue from the 3-year-old program into the 4-year-old program which helped to reduce the stress on Jack’s family. It also meant that Jack could continue learning and avoid the potential effects on his social and emotional development that could result from being isolated from his peers.

* names changed to protect applicant’s privacy


The ECEF contributes approximately $380 per term to a recipient’s kindergarten fees – allowing a child to attend at little or no cost.
All contributions will be issued with a receipt and donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

If you would like to donate please either click here to donate online or complete the below steps.

  1. Download the donation form here
  2. Print out and complete the form
  3. Return the form via post or email (see form for address details).

To apply for assistance, review the guidelines and complete the application forms

Download the application guidelines and eligibility criteria

Download the Application form

Download the Report & Claim form (for approved applications only)