In 2009 Mission Australia, through the Australian Government funded Communities for Children program, and Queensland Health financially funded the first Cairns Early Years Conference. Annually the conference has continued to grow and attract a wider audience of Partnering organisations, speakers and delegates. James Cook University have been involved in the organising committee since 2010, The Benevolent Society joined financially in 2012, DET and Department Communities joined in 2015 and ARACY were welcomed for the 2016 Conference.
The Early Years Conference promotes the wellbeing of children and families by advancing collaboration and evidence-based practice, and provides a platform to reflect multiple perspectives to improve early childhood development. Over the years, this conference has attracted nationally acclaimed keynote speakers and has provided valuable opportunities for professional development for delegates from throughout the FNQ region working in the children and families space, to share knowledge and to network. The conference attracts service providers, volunteers and community members who work in the early years. This may include early childhood educators, teaching staff, family support workers, child & family health professionals and counsellors, community workers, managers, child protection workers and academics.