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An Educational Leader and young child play together at a table, smiling, surrounded by playful illustrations.

Date: 15 February 2023

In-person and online registrations now open

Hosted by the Department of Education, the Best Start, Best Life 2023 Educational Leaders Conference will bring together early childhood Educational Leaders, experts and practitioners from across the state. The conference is on 15 February 2023 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne and online via live streaming.

The conference theme is Evidence for impact: giving children the best start. The day will engage Educational Leaders from across the state in an evidence-informed discussion on the importance of quality pedagogy and the role of the Educational Leader.

Being part of the conference gives you the chance to:

  • Learn from and be inspired by world-renowned experts and leading practitioners
  • Engage in an evidence-informed discussion about high-quality teaching in early childhood
  • Hear examples from Educational Leaders using evidence for change
  • Connect with like-minded educators and leading practitioners.

The conference will explore the critical role of quality practice in the $9 billion Best Start, Best LifeExternal Link reform, and support Educational Leaders to guide the delivery of two years of high-quality play-based learning for Victorian children.

Register to attend in-person

Register to attend online

Eligibility to attend the conference

One Educational Leader in services (including long day care and sessional services) providing a funded kindergarten service in Victoria is eligible to attend the conference, virtually or in person. Entry to the conference will be for registered delegates only.


The conference will feature three renowned international experts:

  • Professor Iram Siraj, Professor of Child Development and Education, University of Oxford
  • Professor Jane Bertrand, Program Director, Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation
  • Sir Kevan Collins, Board Member, Goodstart Early Learning and Board Member, AERO.

For the full program and speaker bios refer to the program page.


The conference will run from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Registration for in-person and online attendees will open from 8:00 am.


The event is free of charge.

Backfill contribution

A backfill contribution for the day of the conference attended is available to eligible employers of Educational Leaders from Victorian funded kindergarten services. The contribution is only paid to Victorian Approved Providers of a funded kindergarten service. For more information refer to the backfill contribution page.

Long-distance travel contribution

A long-distance travel contribution of $300 ($330 if registered for GST) is available to eligible employers of regional and rural Educational Leaders to assist with the cost of attending the conference in person. For more information refer to the long-distance travel contribution page.

Cancellation policy

You must notify the Events Team ( of cancellations in writing by 5 pm Friday 10 February 2023.


The Best Start Best Life Victorian Educational Leaders Conference 2023 will be held at:

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) at 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, Victoria, 3006.

Getting there

For further information about getting to MCEC by car, taxi or public transport, refer to the MCEC websiteExternal Link .

MCEC accessibility

Vision impairment

Braille is provided on all room door signage and fixed directional signage throughout the venue. MCEC is guide dog friendly and welcomes any registered assistance dogs into all areas of the building.

Assisted hearing

Hearing-assisted devices are available to hire at MCEC.

Wheelchair access

There are accessible toilets, ramps and lifts throughout MCEC, including lift access from the car parks.

Conference dress code

Smart casual attire is appropriate for all registered attendees.


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For more information about privacy for the conference and how your information will be used if you register for the event, refer to the privacy page.

General enquiries

Please contact the Events Team if you have any queries about the conference:

Email us

Reviewed 30 January 2023

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