Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres

General information

In addition to the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package, the Australian Government has established six Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres. The Department of Education has responsibility for the broader commitment to establish Early Learning and Care Centres in 38 priority locations.

The Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres provide early learning programs and specific support for children aged zero to six years with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in a long day care setting. They also provide parents with support in the care of their children and give them the opportunity to participate more fully in the community. Through their affiliations with universities or hospitals, the centres have a research and workforce training component which will help achieve a better understanding of ASD and increase workforce capacity.

An Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre has been established in each of the following locations:

  • South Western Sydney
  • Brisbane
  • Adelaide
  • North West Tasmania
  • Melbourne, and
  • Perth.

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The service providers of the six centres are:

Melbourne - The La Trobe University Margot Prior Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre

La Trobe University in partnership with the Royal Children's Hospital extended the existing state-of-the-art La Trobe University Community Children's Centre to accommodate an Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre. The centre opened in July 2010. Enrolment enquiries should be directed to Jenny Reynolds, Manager, Family and Children's Services, La Trobe University.  Please contact Jenny Reynolds: j.reynolds@latrobe.edu.au by email or phone 03 9479 2122.

Adelaide - The Daphne Street Child Care and Specialist Early Learning Centre

Anglicare SA Inc, in partnership with the Autism Association of South Australia, has refurbished Anglicare's existing child care centre in Prospect, Adelaide to accommodate an Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre. This centre opened in June 2009. Enrolment enquiries should be directed to Sarah Ferguson, Manager, Anglicare SA. Please contact the centre daphneadmin@anglicare-sa.org.au by email or phone 08 8269 8688.

South Western Sydney - The KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre

KU Children's Services, in partnership with the Sydney South West Area Health Service and the University of New South Wales, established an Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre on the same site as KU Children's Services' existing child care centre at Woodward Park, Liverpool. This centre opened in June 2010. Enrolment enquiries should be directed to the Program Manager, KU Children's Services Marcia Burgess ASELCC.

Please contact by email KU Marcia Burgess Autism: ku.marciaburgessautism@ku.com.au; or phone 02 9612 9400.

Brisbane - The Queensland Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre - AEIOU Foundation for children with autism

AEIOU Foundation for children with autism, in partnership with Griffith University, has established an Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre at Griffith University's Nathan Campus. This centre opened in February 2010. Enrolment enquiries should be directed to Katrina Ives, AEIOU Foundation for children with autism. Please contact by email info@aeiou.org.au or phone (07) 3320 7545.

Perth - The Autism Association (WA) Mercy Care Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre

The Autism Association of Western Australia (AAWA), in partnership with Mercy Child Care and the Curtin University of Technology, has refurbished an existing Mercy Child Care Centre in Bedford, Western Australia, to accommodate an Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre.  This centre opened in January 2013.  Enrolment enquiries should be directed to Gee van der Watt, Team Leader, WA ASELCC project, Autism Association of Western Australia.  Please contact Gee by email to aselcc@autism.org.au or phone (08) 6380 5504

Tasmania - The North West Tasmania Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre

The St Giles Society operates the North West Tasmania Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre’s main campus in a purpose built centre above the mainstream child care centre, Alexander Beetle House.The centre is also providing satellite services across the North West region of Tasmania. It has been operational since June 2010. Enrolment enquiries should be directed to Kathryn Fordyce: ASELCC@burnie.net by email or phone (03) 6430 5779.

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Evaluation of the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres

O’Brien and Rich Research Group conducted an evaluation of the Government’s six Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres. They found that the centres’ comprehensive and quality early intervention services were highly valued by families.

A summary of the Evaluation recommendations, the Government response and existing and proposed actions is also available.

More information

For more information regarding the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres:

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres are available on this website.

For information on the Early Learning and Care Centres, visit the Office of Early Childhood Education and Child Care Centres website.

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