ECMS has established a broad range of partnerships to enable us to continue to provide high-quality, innovative, inclusive and responsive early learning and care services. 

Partnerships for quality

These partnerships relate to evidence-based practice, staff professional development and building research into our everyday service delivery.

Australian Catholic University (ACU)

ECMS educators are undertaking a six-month research and development project on the theory of Expansive Learning via ACU. The project focuses on supporting vulnerable children and families.

Deakin University 

Ph.D students

ECMS has two Deakin University Ph.D. students on three-year practice placements. These students are researching agency in early childhood settings and the significance of the educator on the parent-child relationship

Both students are published in research journals and contribute to our strategy to provide evidence-based practice in early childhood education and care settings.

Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development (SEEDS)

SEEDS promotes a secure emotional start to life, via research into the origins of mental health issues. ECMS contributes a practice lens to this research group in the early years.

Healthy Eating/Environmental Sustainability Study

In partnership with Deakin, ECMS tested the impact of training early childhood educators on how to talk to children and families about healthy eating and environmental sustainability by using links to popular culture. 

Project outcomes have been published in the national Early Child Development and Care Journal.

Te Rito Maioha

ECMS has partnered with Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand to form the Trans-Tasman scholarship program. 

This exciting initiative enables 10 of our educators to complete a postgraduate qualification in leadership. Educators’ cross-cultural learnings and stories are shared with children, families and the broader ECMS team.

Partnerships for inclusion

These partnerships focus on supporting all children to access quality early learning and care. 

Autism Teaching Institute

In 2012, ECMS formed a partnership with the Autism Teaching Institute to provide training and mentoring to our educators.

This initiative has built competence, confidence and our long-term capacity to meet the needs of young children with ASD and complex needs. It also helps educators wanting to gain further qualifications in special needs education.

Berry Street Playgroups

ECMS delivers three Early Learning is Fun (ELF) Playgroups in partnership with Berry Street; two in Whittlesea and one in Fitzroy. ELF Playgroups support highly vulnerable families and children to take part in playgroups.

Caroline Chisholm Society

A family violence worker and social work team leader from the Caroline Chisholm Society have been working in ECMS services. These professionals work between child protection and family support services to ‘guide’ families through the structural barriers of accessing early childhood education and care.  

ChildFIRST & Child Protection Services

Child Protection Services have delivered focused training sessions for our staff on how to recognise, report and respond to signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect.

Department of Education and Training (DET) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

ECMS sits on DET and DHHS Advisory Groups as a practice partner bringing an industry lens to policy. Many of these groups have a strong focus on working with vulnerable children. They bring together sector service providers under an integrated service model design.

Parkville Prison Early Years Project

ECMS has formed a practice partnership with Parkville Prison to develop the Parkville Early Years Project. The program includes a supported playgroup at the prison for incarcerated young parents. The project demonstrates our expertise in framing and delivering innovative service model to respond to vulnerable children and families at various stages of life and circumstance.

Partnerships for cultural competence

ECMS has developed significant partnerships to progress service development and practice models that embed a culture of inclusion and competence.

FKA Children’s Services

ECMS services partner with FKA to access bi-lingual workers and interpretation support, cultural resources, toys and books to support educational programs.

Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC)

ECMS is working with SNAICC to develop an organisational reconciliation action plan (RAP) and strategic framework for cultural competence.

Partnerships for advocacy

These partnerships support our work in advocating to governments for more investment in quality, inclusive and accessible early learning and care for all Australian children and families.

Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA)

Our CEO, Kim Bertino, is a member of the ELACCA national peak body, which brings together large early learning and care providers from across Australia.  ELACCA promotes the value of quality early learning and care as an integral part of Australia’s education system.

Early Childhood Australia (ECA)

ECMS is a sponsor and active contributor in the national cross-sector Early Learning - Everyone Benefits campaign, designed to shift public perception on the value of early learning in driving Australia’s future prosperity. ECMS also has representation on the ECA Victoria Branch Board.