Our History


  • The community childcare movement starts as ‘Community Controlled Child Care’ in Victoria.


  • The federal Liberal–Country Party Government allocates $5 million for the construction of childcare centres.
  • The newly elected Labor Government announces its ambition to “make preschool education available to every Australian child”.


  • The NSW Labor Government announces the establishment of the Family and Children’s Services Agency (FACSA).


  • Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) - now known as Community Early Learning Australia, launches with funding from the NSW Family and Children’s Services Agency (FACSA).


  • First means-tested fee relief system announced by the federal Liberal–Country Government.


  • NSW FACSA ceases full funding of Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW).


  • Seeing a severe downturn in its funding revenues, Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) generates income by developing a range of publications, and offering workshops and training.


  • The NSW Labor Government resumes funding of Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW).
  • A national debate ignites over the privatisation of childcare services. The Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, assures sector that fee relief will be accompanied by an accreditation system.
  • Rattler magazine is launched.


  • Australia ratifies the international Convention on the Rights of the Child.


  • Our Broadside newsletter is launched.


  • The National Quality Improvement and Accreditation System is introduced, and is met with some resistance.


  • The Liberal–National Government withdraws operational subsidies from not-for-profits on grounds of ‘competitive fairness’.


  • The national Family Day Care Quality Assurance (FDCQA) system is developed.
  • The Liberal–National Government slashes the education and care services budget by $350 million.


  • Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) celebrates 21 years. The NSW Office of Child Care launches the NSW Early Childhood Curriculum Framework.


  • The Liberal–National Government introduces the Child Care Benefit, which also sees the rise of corporatised services throughout Australia, most notably, ABC Learning.
  • Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) moves to its current location, at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville.


  • Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) ramps up its opposition to the rise of corporatised services such as ABC Learning, warning that these services will eventually collapse.


  • Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) becomes a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), offering Diploma and Certificate courses.


  • Children’s Services Central is created, with Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) as the lead agency, heading an Alliance of Children’s Services organisations.
  • Children’s Services Central secures the contract to become the NSW Professional Support Coordinator from the Australian Government.
  • Children’s Services Central launches the Inclusion and Professional Support Program (IPSP), in partnership with Gowrie NSW.


  • The incoming Labor Government announces that it will commence developing national quality standards for the early education and care sector and seek ways of supporting professionalism.
  • The Community Child Care Co-operative’s CeeCees Awards are announced, recognising quality in community-based services.


  • ABC Learning collapses, leaving 120,000 children compromised in their access to early education and care.


  • A National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development supports COAG’s efforts in closing the gap of Indigenous disadvantage. The agreement funds early learning, health and family support services to Indigenous children and families.
  • COAG signs a National Partnership Agreement on the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care, incorporating the NQS rating and assessment system.
  • GoodStart Childcare, an initiative of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Mission Australia, The Benevolent Society and Social Ventures Australia acquires the former ABC Learning services.


  • Julia Gillard becomes the first woman to be Australia’s Prime Minister.


  • After years of lobbying by Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) and other peak bodies, NSW implements the 1:4 ratios for children under two in all NSW services.
  • Rattler celebrates its 25th year of continuous publication, and releases its 100th edition in December.


  • The Australian Quality Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is established to oversee the implementation of the NQF. The National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC) ceases to operate.


  • The Labor Government announces the $300 million Early Years Quality Fund, supporting wage increases for educators and the implementation of the NQF.
  • For the first time, a political forum co-ordinated by Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) and other peak bodies hosts both federal and state ministers for early education and care.
  • Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) celebrates its 35th anniversary.


  • The Liberal–National Government removes funding from the Professional Support Co-ordinators in every state and territory on 30 June. As a result, Children’s Services Central and the Inclusion and Professional Support Program are decommissioned.
  • Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) secures the NSW government Start Strong contract, to support access of four and five-year-old children to 600 hours of quality early childhood education in the year before commencing school.


  • Our Amplify! blog is launched to tell the essential stories of early and middle childhood education and care online, incorporating articles from Rattler, Broadside, and thought leaders in the sector.
  • In June, Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) launches its new trademark, Community Early Learning Australia (CELA), to build on our position as the peak body for Australia’s early and middle childhood education sector and strengthen our mission to amplify early learning’s value across Australia.


  • Rattler magazine moves to a mainly digital format, publishing three digital editions and one annual compendium per year.
  • CELA is appointed to deliver Assessment & Rating – Prepare, Collaborate, Communicate training on behalf of the NSW Department of Education. 
  • We re-launched ‘Identify and respond to children and young people at risk’ as both face to face and webinar sessions


  • COVID-19 threatens the viability of many ECEC services around Australia. The government responds with various funding mechanisms including fee free preschool for terms 2 and 3.
  • CELA moves a range of our most popular courses to webinar sessions in response to COVID-19 social distancing rules.


  • CELA is appointed by NSW Department of Education to run series of 'Communicating Quality' training sessions and to launch the Early Education Leaders Peer Network. 

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