The Andrews Labor Government is calling for applications for the 2017 Victorian Early Years Awards.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos opened the awards and encouraged Victorian families, early childhood professionals and organisations to nominate themselves or others to share their stories.

The awards, now in their 12th year, recognise the crucial work early childhood professionals do to make a difference to the lives of Victorian children and families.

The awards mark the achievements and commitment of early childhood professionals across five award categories, including those promoting children’s health and wellbeing, supporting parents, creating collaborative community partnerships, and improving access to early learning.

Teacher Meagan Hull, from Bentons Square Kindergarten in Mornington, was awarded the 2016 Early Childhood Teacher of the Year for her life-changing work with children with additional learning needs.

Winners in each category will receive between $10,000 and $15,000 to go towards enhancing their work.

For more details and to nominate for the 2017 Victorian Early Years Awards:

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“We are working to ensure every child has a chance to succeed, by strengthening early years services and making Victoria the Education State.”

“If you have been part of an exceptional early childhood program – I encourage you to submit a nomination and share your story.”

 “These awards are an opportunity to recognise the great work so many passionate and caring early childhood professionals do every day to help local families and kids thrive.”