Accelerating Autism Knowledge and Capacity for Educators

The Autism Early Childhood Champions Project supports Early Childhood Education and Care Services to break down barriers to inclusion and create positive outcomes for children with Autism in Early Childhood Settings.

Over the past two years, the Project has supported in training Champions from over 150 Early Learning and Care Services across both Metro and Regional areas while also providing ongoing support to each centre.


What is an Autism Champion?

Autism Champions are nominated from a range of Early Childhood Services to receive intensive training and support to help make a long-term difference to children with Autism and their families. From the metro area to regional communities, we have Champions across WA!

This program has a strong partnership with the WA Inclusion Agency, where many Inclusion Professionals have also participated in both the consultations and the training days. This has been extremely beneficial for the participating Early Childhood Services, as there is a consistency in best practice strategies and supports, resulting in positive outcomes for the children and their families. 

Champions are creating authentic and meaningful inclusion for all children in mainstream early childhood settings. Educators have shared that their knowledge and understanding of Autism has significantly increased as a result of being part of the Autism Champions Project and they now feel confident and empowered to make positive changes to support the children in their services to reach their full potential. 


What training is provided?

Our Autism Champions Team provide the following to each service: 

  • Tailored individualised support throughout the duration of the program
  • Initial centre consultation of 4 hours to understand the centre’s needs, identify current barriers to inclusion, provide coaching and initial support strategies
  • Two days (16 hours) of face-to-face training, including: Positive Behaviour Support, Facilitating Inclusion and What is Autism?
  • A 2 hour follow up centre consultation to review the implementation of strategies and allow for further coaching as needed

Your Stories

I have loved expanding my knowledge on Autism, I have learnt new ways to support children that have or may have Autism and how to use different resources to support children and families. 

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Caitlyn Dicks, REED Corrigin

I have gained so much knowledge in the 3 sessions I have been to. It has given me the confidence and the tools to create inclusive environments to all the children who come into my service.

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Jessie, REED Darkan

The training gave me ideas and strategies that will benefit every child in our centre, not just children diagnosed or 'red flagged'. It made me consider how inclusion strategies benefit all. 

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Peggy, REED

I now feel more confident identifying signs of ASD and to use different strategies to ensure all children are included. 

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Morgan Houde-Pearce, REED Narembeen

I will advise anybody in the childcare industry to go for this training

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Judine Kapaisanjii, Junior Adventures Group

As an Early Childhood Educator and a mother of a newly diagnosed child with Autism, I found these sessions invaluable and the skills, confidence and knowledge gained will help moving forward. 

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Ami Hannington, York Child Care Centre

I have learnt so much during this two day training. I have reflected on my professional practice as an Educator and feel confident and wholesome in the fact that I can help children reach their goals, and provider the support that they need. 

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Fiona Mathieson, York Child Care Centre

Wow, what a learning experience. So much to take in and implement. It has made me open my eyes to true inclusion and what I can do to make our environment a better place for all.

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Gemma Evans, St Simon Peter ELC

The Autism Champion project has genuinely saved our team from burn out and break down. We now have happy, settled children and educators.

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KidsHQ Jacaranda

Wow! Such an amazing comprehensive look into ASD. I feel like everything was unpacked and I now have the confidence to implement new strategies to support the child, family and educators.

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Turtle Cover Early Learning Centre, Geraldton

I found this project so beneficial and full of information which is relevant to our service. I cannot wait to go back and share with my colleagues and children. Would recommend for others to attend and participate.

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Amy Causer, Bambi CCC Geraldton

The consultants were great presenters and very knowledgeable. They were supportive and gave some great suggestions to help understand Inclusion and how to build a better environment that supports all children regardless of their differences. Really great project and we can not wait to implement some of the things we have learnt.

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Amanada Tebb, Liwara C.P.S OSHC

I have gained so much practical knowledge through these training days and the consultations within the service. We are able to use the strategies for the children and families and provide more inclusive support for the community of learners. The educational materials provided give a great insight on how autism affects people at different ages and how we can give children the best possible start.

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Supriya Coehlo, Sliverwood CCC

The strategies provided to me, I have never seen or used before and I will use them every day in my Early Learning day care setting and in my everyday life with children and adults.

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Rachel Buck, GoodStart Girrawheen

Jump was so excited to be accepted into the first round of this project. Our educators came in with an open mind and were absolutely blown away by the detailed information provided and also the vast experience of the presenters. I think it took us a few weeks to actually process in our own heads exactly where we were going to start within our large service.

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Amanda Saunders, Jump Carey Early Development

Being a part of this project has empowered us on our journey in implementing strategies to develop an inclusive culture.

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Melissa Elliot, REED Brookton

A very informative program which allows for a greater understanding of why and how certain reactions occur. I developed more insight into recognizing and documenting certain triggers. Consultants presented and answered questions to embed these practices practically. Awesome program!!

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Tracy Foster, Regional Early Education and Development Inc.

This program is essential to inclusive education and hope as many educators and teachers as possible can access this program.

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Julia Weir and Jade Imgrund, Nido Early School Willeton

We cannot recommend how highly beneficial this program has been! The Autism Championship Program has impacted our centre in such a positive way more so then we initially thought it might. After the two day training session, all three educators that attended came back with such a fresh, new perspective and stated that this was one of the best professional developments they have had the opportunity to attend.

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Cherese, Kids HQ

This is my first formal training for Autism inclusion support. It has made me feel more empowered as to what I can implement in my settings when I have a child who has been diagnosed or not. A lot of the strategies are going to help me support ALL children.

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Deidre Johnson, Sudbury House ELC

The project has helped me better understand about Autism in Early Childhood. I've learnt new strategies and uncovered information about behaviour and the research behind it. With all these resources to share with families and fellow educators, I think I‘d be great help and mind opener too. I really hope to see more projects like this being offered to educators, so children can receive the best care possible.

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Anggie Raditz, Nido Early School Willeton

The training provided affirmed my current knowledge level and supported building my capacity in areas of interest. Such and informative and positive experience. Thank you so much.

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Brie Slatter, Nido Early School Hocking

The course was delivered well and was an eye opener. As we went through the day I was continuously connecting information to the children I work with everyday. The trainers were easily understandable and made themselves approachable, this created a warm environment which allowed everyone to feel included.

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Ebony Wheatland, Ready Set Grow BP

The training was so informative and throughout the information it was clear that we could link the strategies to our centre and children. It was amazing to hear from other educators and share our experiences, triumphs and where we might need extra support.

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Keely Anderson, Ready Set Grow, Bluff Point

These sessions have been so valuable for the services, they have learnt so much and it's really great to see them coming on board.

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Sally, Communicare

Looking for an Early Learning Education and Care Centre?

There are a number of factors that can impact finding a suitable service for your child. The below list of questions may help you when choosing an Early Childhood Service for your child and guide your initial discussion with services:

  • Do the Educators have an understanding of Autism and experience in implementing Autism specific strategies?
  • Are there children with Autism already at the service?
  • Are Educators keen to welcome your child?
  • Are orientation days available prior to commencing with the service?
  • How will Educators prepare for your child’s first day, and how will they work with you to understand your child’s specific needs?
  • Does the service use or are they willingly to use visual supports to support your child’s communication?
  • Does the service use Inclusion Support Program funding, or is it willing to apply for this funding to support your child?

Please note: This list should act as a guide only and not a direct recommendation.

See below for a list of participating services in the Autism Early Childhood Champions Project!


Find out more!

For more information on the program, please contact the Inclusion Support Team at the Autism Association of Western Australia on (08) 9489 8900 or

Supported by the WA Inclusion Agency. The Autism Early Childhood Champions Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.


Participating Services include:

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