The Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) was established on 1 July 2009 following agreement of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to a realignment of the roles and responsibilities of two previously existing councils—the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) and the Ministerial Council for Vocational and Technical Education (MCVTE).
This decision has resulted in the formation of two new Councils—MCEECDYA and the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE).
Membership Membership of the Council comprises State, Territory, Australian Government and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for the portfolios of school education, early childhood development and youth affairs, with Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island and East Timor having observer status. View list of members.
Responsibilities and Functions
The areas of responsibility covered by the Council are:
• primary and secondary education
• youth affairs and youth policy relating to schooling
• cross-sectoral matters including transitions and careers
• early childhood development including early childhood education and care
• international education (school education)
This work is taking place in close interaction with the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE), which has specific responsibility for:
• higher education
• vocational education and training
• international education (non school)
• adult and community education
• the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
• youth policy relating to participation in tertiary education, work and workforce productivity.
MCEECDYA will also ensure that other relevant Ministerial Councils are included in discussions and policy development where necessary to reflect the broader remit of Council for early childhood development – in particular Health and Indigenous Affairs Ministers.
Functions of the Council include coordination of strategic policy at the national level, negotiation and development of national agreements on shared objectives and interests (including principles for Australian Government/State relations) in the Council's areas of responsibility, negotiations on scope and format of national reporting on areas of responsibility, sharing of information and collaborative use of resources towards agreed objectives and priorities, and coordination of communication with, and collaboration between, related national structures.
Council meets at least once each year, and generally no more than twice each year. Video- and tele-conferencing are used at other times where necessary to consider particular matters.
The Council is chaired in rotation for a calendar year by each of the member governments.
The first MCEECDYA meeting was held on 28 September 2009, in Brisbane. A subsequent meeting was held on 6 November 2009, in Adelaide.
Information statements/press releases relating to meetings of the former Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) are available here. View list of available information statements.
The Protocols and Procedures for MCEECDYA meetings are agreed to by Ministers in accordance with COAG Protocols for Ministerial Councils.
MCEECDYA Advisory and Support Structures
The Council is supported by a group of senior officials who meet regularly as the Australian Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs Senior Officials Committee (AEEYSOC). AEEYSOC is directly responsible to the Ministerial Council for the execution of Ministerial Council decisions.
The Council is also supported by a number of taskforces and working groups convened as needed for particular tasks. These taskforces have prescribed timeframes and reporting arrangements and are reviewed annually by AEEYSOC.
Council is currently restructuring its advisory structures in line with its new responsibilities.
Council has also established several companies as cooperative ventures that provide services of benefit to all jurisdictions.
The Council is serviced by a small independent Secretariat which is located in Melbourne and is funded by all member governments.