Early Childhood Intervention Australia (NSW/ACT) (ECIA NSW/ACT) is the peak body for early childhood intervention in NSW and the ACT.
Formed in 1982, our organisation is the professional body representing and enabling professionals and organisations that work with children with developmental delay or disability and their families.
We are funded through:
To promote awareness of the importance of early childhood intervention and inclusion for children with developmental delay or disability, their families and communities.
To represent, support and develop organisations, professionals and practitioners working with young children with developmental delay or disability and their families and communities.
ECIA NSW/ACT is a professional association representing Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) service providers and practitioners, with support provided by a Chief Executive Officer, and professional and administrative staff. It encourages active member participation to fulfil its objectives.
Programs and activities are managed by a Board comprising of the elected executive positions of President, Vice President and Treasurer and up to five elected non-executive directors. There is also provision for up to two co-opted positions, as required.
Elections take place annually, with all positions having a maximum of four terms and each term is one-year.
ECIA NSW/ACT, its Board and Chief Executive Officer, will govern and manage the organisation effectively, efficiently and sustainably, reflecting good professional association and governance practices.
ECIA NSW merged with ECIA ACT to form ECIA NSW/ACT. Our joint aim as part of ECIA NSW/ACT is to raise the awareness of the nature, role and importance of early childhood intervention in NSW and the ACT along with upholding other core values held by the ECIA national organisation.
ECIA NSW/ACT now provides a number of workshops each year for local and regional areas which are relevant for both families and professionals working with children who have a developmental delay or disability. We continue to liaise with and support the national body of Early Childhood Intervention Australia and provide information to the National Council on early childhood intervention services, practices and issues.
The association changed its name from Australian Early Intervention Association (AEIA) to Early Childhood Intervention Australia (NSW Chapter). This was prompted by the increasing use of the term ‘early intervention’ to apply to a wide range of services for different age groups and concerns. The adoption of the term ‘early childhood intervention’ was intended to indicate that ECIA represented intervention services provided during the early years.
ECIA Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was a small but dynamic chapter established in 1995 with the aim to provide a local forum for networking, communicating and sharing current information, philosophies and practices relating to the provision of early childhood intervention services in the ACT.
The name was changed to the Australian Early Intervention Association (AEIA). The AEIA (NSW) was formed after state and territory early childhood intervention associations agreed to form a national professional association. Two members from each state or territory chapter were nominated to sit on the first National Council.
The first biennial conference followed and was held in Adelaide in 1994. The biennial conference continues to be held on a rotating basis in state and territory capitals around Australia.
The formation of Early Childhood Intervention Australia (NSW Chapter) had its origins in an initial meeting of 17 people representing 10 programs, who were interested in the early education of children with special needs, held on 18th December, 1981. Discussion included: (1) Lack of funding, continuity of funding and lack of coordination between Government funding bodies; and (2) Need to form an association to share ideas, foster communication between services and to lobby funding bodies. A steering committee was formed, of Noel Shields (Education Support Service), Anne Carruthers (Newcastle Special Education Centre) and Moira Pieterse (Macquarie University Down’s Program).
At a second planning meeting on 4th June 1982, this time attended by 26 people from 18 programmes, the group determined that: (1) A working party was needed to form an association, with Noel Shields & Judith Langley (Education Support Service), Shauna St.George (ACLD), Lee Maher (Bexley Therapy Centre), Joy Goodfellow (Institute of Early Childhood Studies) and Anne Carruthers (Newcastle Special Education Centre) taking on this task; and (2) The objectives and guidelines for the association should be to: (a) Provide guidelines for operation of EI Services; (b) Provide an information exchange; (c) Offer support for community based and isolated services and parent groups; (d) Publish a newsletter; and (e) Organise direct lobbying of government on relevant issues. Concerns regarding school placement (lack of options, training of teachers) were also discussed.
The third planning meeting was held on 15th October, 1982. On this occasion, the name of the Association was decided: NSW Early Intervention Association, with membership to be open to all those working in early intervention. An Election of Office Bearers was held that determined the first executive and committee positions. The first meeting of the NSW Early Intervention Association, Friday 19th November, 1982.