Celebrating Victorians Who Inspire Our Children

Early childhood leaders from across Victoria are being celebrated by the Andrews Labor Government for their exceptional work in making a difference in the lives of young children and their families.

The Victorian Early Years Awards recognise the contributions of individuals and organisations in improving the health, learning, development and wellbeing of young children. The awards are being presented at the National Gallery of Victoria on Tuesday 22 October.

A program supporting newly-arrived migrant families with their English literacy, a kindergarten incorporating indigenous perspectives into the curriculum and a program helping children transition from kinder to school are among this year’s winners.

Leanne Mits from Pope Road Kindergarten in Blackburn was named Early Childhood Teacher of the Year for her work devoted to to early childhood learning, connecting children with indigenous history, culture and stories and ongoing research to improve her practice.

The full list of winners comprises:

  • Improving Access and Participation in Early Learning Award – Word Play, Moreland City Libraries
  • Supporting Parents through evidence-based practice Award – Sound Partnerships: Promoting partnerships with families for the teaching of phonics, Rosanna Golf Links Primary School
  • Creating Collaborative Community Partnerships Award – Balnarring Pre-School
  • Promoting Children’s Health and Wellbeing Award – We Love Stories, Banyule Community Health
  • Continuity of Early Learning Award – BY FIVE: Wimmera Southern Mallee Early Years Project, Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership
  • Early Childhood Teacher of the Year Award – Leanne Mits, Pope Road Kindergarten, Blackburn
  • The Emeritus Professor Collette Tayler Excellence in Educational Leadership Award – The Geelong College
  • Minister’s Award – Walking From One Room Into Another Room, Keysborough Primary School.

Now in their 14th year, the Victorian Early Years Awards recognise the crucial work of early years professionals who make a difference in the lives of Victorian children and families.

Winners in each category receive up to $15,000 to continue their work in kindergartens, early childhood education and care services, schools, local councils, maternal child and health services and other early years organisations across the state.

For more details on the 2019 Victorian Early Years Awards: www.education.vic.gov.au/veya

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“I wish to congratulate all of this year’s Award finalists on their work in making a lasting impact in the lives of children and their families during the vital early years.”

“It’s wonderful to hear about the incredible job these early years professionals and organisations do to make sure Victoria’s children have the best start in life.”

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