Some of Canberra's most passionate childcare, early learning and after-school care workers have been recognised for their contributions to education and care in the ACT.
The Communities@Work bi-annual ACT Education and Care Gala Awards on Friday night celebrated the achievements of 80 professionals and volunteers nominated across 10 awards.
Excellence in Practice and Pedagogy awards were given to AIS Caretakers Cottage's Emily Pattrick (Early Childhood); YWCA Family Day Care's Amy Mann (Family Day Care or in Home Care); and Matthew Balken of YMCA St Vincent's Outside of School Hours Care (Outside School Hours Care).
Deakin Early Education Centre's Kylie Pearce won the Outstanding Service Leadership Award, while Kirsten Heaton from Communities@Work's Greenway Child Care and Education Centre was crowned Inspirational Education Leader.
Manuka Childcare Centre's Sue Giugni was recognised for her Outstanding Commitment to Studies, while Holy Trinity Early Learning Centre was awarded for its Commitment to Professional Learning and Quality Improvement.
Torben Bilney from Yerrabi Ponds Early Learning Centre received the Outstanding Service Support Award and Manuka Childcare Centre won the Community Engagement Award.
The Sustainability and Environmental Practices Award was presented to AIS Caretaker's Cottage Child Care Centre.
Minister for Education and Training Joy Burch said the implementation of the National Quality Framework continued to help raise the professional profile of the education and care sector.
"Achieving these objectives would not be possible without the passion that educators have to help children establish self-esteem, resilience, healthy growth and the capacity for life-long learning during these critical early years," she said.
"And their commitment to fostering supportive and nurturing environments for everyone."
Canberra senator Zed Seselja congratulated all 80 professionals who were nominated.
"The contribution of the education and care sector is vital to our community," he said.
The ACT education and care sector includes more than 300 individual services, 5000 educators serves 20,000 families and more than 25,000 children.
The ACT Professional Support Co-ordinator and Communities@Work delivered the awards ceremony.