National Early Years Summit 2020

Recently, EPOCH CRE members Professor Kylie Hesketh, Professor Karen Campbell and PhD Candidate Sarah Marshall participated in the National Early Years Summit in Melbourne 11-12 March 2020. We know that early years are a critical time for children - but how we can make sure Australian children and families thrive?


What was the aim of the Summit?

The Summit aimed to start an ongoing national collaboration for improving child wellbeing during the first 1000 days and beyond. Delegates actively participated for two days, considering what is already working for young children and what more can be done. This informed an initial blueprint - a plan to see Australian children thrive.


Who attended?

Nearly 500 people attended the summit - frontline workers, advocates, academics, government policy makers, parents, and many others. The invitation was to every person passionate about early childhood wellbeing.


What were the highlights?

Speakers were as diverse as delegates, discussing contributing factors to child wellbeing - including housing, culture, domestic violence, early education, pre and post natal care. This was not a conference; this was two days of discussing and thinking outside the box, with opportunities for in-depth conversations and connections.


What were the outcomes?

The initial direction of the blueprint included collective leadership, honouring and learning with First Nations people, gaining a more impactful political voice - all with children and families at the centre. The photo here was taken at the Summit - it is artwork in progress from the final session, summarising the blueprint direction.


What next?

The Summit was the start of a ten-year endeavour. Together, delegates will continue progressing the initial blueprint aiming for a national 'what and how' for promoting child wellbeing. Stay tuned for the next iterations.


More information

Visit the National Early Years Summit website