Our History

The Early Childhood Council (ECC) is an incorporated society formed in 1990 from the amalgamation of two earlier bodies, the Licensed Childcare Centres Federation and the Associated Childcare Council. The ECC was officially incorporated in 1991.

The primary purpose of the ECC is to represent the interests of independent early childhood centres and to promote the provision of quality early childhood education services.

Membership is voluntary and is available to all licensed independent early childhood centres managed by community owned, privately owned and voluntary groups. The ECC is fully funded by membership subscriptions. Over 1,000 licensed education and care centres are financial members of the ECC, making our organisation the largest early childhood employer's organisation in New Zealand. Our members employ over 7,000 staff and provide early childhood education for over 50,000 of this country’s under 5 population.

ECC membership is diverse with centres as small as six licensed places through to over 150 places. 70% of members are owner operated centres, the remaining 30% are community owned.

The ECC is governed by its constitution which provides for an Executive Committee to be elected annually by the members. The Executive Committee includes the positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and five Executive Members.

The ECC has, through its constitution, the ability to award life membership to members who have made an extraordinary contribution to the organisation and to the provision of quality centre-based early childhood education in New Zealand. At present, there are eight life members of the ECC:

  • Allan Wendelborn
  • Ross Penman
  • Brian Elliott
  • Janette Walker
  • Raywyn Ramage
  • Sherilyn Walsh
  • Sue Kurtovich
  • Margie Blackwood