media release 


4 April 2023  


Chance for Australia's best early childhood educators to be recognised as nominations open for national HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards


Nominations for the 2023 HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards have opened today. Since 2010, the national awards have recognised the front-line educators and carers at the very heart of Australia’s early childhood education system.


Anyone involved in the delivery of these services can nominate, or be nominated, across three categories, including Advancing Pedagogy & Practice, Individual Leadership and Outstanding Service, with winners sharing in a prize pool of $30,000.


HESTA CEO Debby Blakey acknowledged the work of the sector as an integral part of communities around the nation and encouraged people to consider making a nomination.


“HESTA is so proud to help celebrate the exceptional work of early childhood educators and help share their inspiring stories.”


“Early childhood educators play a crucial role in shaping the lives of our youngest Australians. They provide a safe and nurturing environment, inspired learning and creativity, and help children develop the skills they need to succeed and thrive. We are so grateful for the work they do each day,” Ms Blakey said.


“From improving children’s abilities to regulate their emotions and engage in learning, to challenging and inspiring children through natural learning environments, these are just some examples of past winners awarded for helping make a difference within the early childhood sector.”


“We really encourage people to nominate a wonderful professional they know, which in turn will help recognise the many outstanding achievements made by early childhood professionals across the country,” she said.


An independent judging panel made up of industry experts, will select finalists and choose the winner for each category. Nominations will close at midnight AEST on Sunday 25 June 2023.


The three winners will each take home $10,000 – donated by longstanding Awards supporter ME – to be used for personal or professional development or further development of processes or services in the workplace.


ME CEO Martine Jager said the bank was proud to be a supporter of the HESTA Awards program.


“ME is incredibly proud to be supporting these awards to recognise the amazing efforts and achievements of Australia’s early childhood educators and carers. These brilliant people are guiding Australia’s future generations at such an important time for their development and growth, helping children to reach their full potential”, Ms Jager said.


Winners will be announced on Friday 6 October 2023 at a special awards ceremony held in Adelaide To find out more about the awards visit




The 2022 winners were:

Advancing Pedagogy & Practice

Goodstart Early Learning

Glenfield Park

Goodstart Early Learning was recognised for their commitment to improving children’s abilities to regulate their emotions and engage in learning, with the integration of a ‘Trauma-Informed Mindfulness’ program.


Outstanding Organisation

Explore & Develop Penrith

Penrith, NSW

Explore & Develop Penrith was awarded Outstanding Organisation, for their leadership and innovation to support the mental health and wellbeing of young children through the ‘Key Resilience, Mental Health and Trauma’ program.


Individual Leadership

Elizabeth Price

Gloucester Preschool & Early Years Learning Centre

Elizabeth was recognised for her commitment to challenge and inspired children through natural learning environments. 





Media contact:

Sam Riley

General Manager Media Relations

(03) 8660 1684


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