The Declaration was developed to support our collaborators’ expressed need for an agreed position on the state of current early years’ evidence, including policy and practice recommendations. More than 70 leading early childhood researchers, policymakers and practitioners contributed to the Declaration which will become a foundation for CoLab’s future research collaborations.
The Child Development Atlas
CoLab, in partnership with The Ian Potter Foundation, has funded the development of the Child Development Atlas (CDA), an interactive tool that plans to link data from multiple government agencies to build comprehensive child development, health and social profiles of WA communities. These neighbourhood social profiles will be overlayed with service delivery profiles to support policy makers, service providers and communities in providing effective service delivery to meet community needs. The project team will work with Government agencies to build a central location for currently siloed data. CoLab is further supporting this initiative by facilitating partnerships with service providers and communities to inform service delivery for WA children and families.
The WA Commissioner for Children and Young People (CCYP) Outcomes Framework
Telethon Kids and CoLab are supporting the Commissioner for Children and Young People WA to develop a project that aims to increase our shared understanding about whether life is improving for children and young people. Together we are developing a framework to monitor three core aspects of children’s wellbeing - safety, health and learning. This framework will be used by CCYP to inform its monitoring role (including an annual report to Parliament) and will remain consistent over the coming years.
CoLab App for Families
CoLab, in partnership with other providers, is developing an innovative app to communicate directly with parents. This resource will give disadvantaged and other parents access to plain language evidence-based information to help support their children’s development from birth to eight years of age. A comprehensive scoping of national and international technology-based communication mechanisms has been conducted to identify ways to help parents search for information, make information available "in the moment", find and access suitable services, and track milestones and events throughout their children’s development.
Economic Understanding of Early Childhood Services
Early Years Economic Think Tank
CoLab is bringing together economic experts across the health, education, labour and welfare economic disciplines to identify research priorities for economic analysis of investment in the early years in Australia. These research priorities will link the currently siloed understanding of return on investment across the four economic disciplines to provide a comprehensive economic analysis of the early years in Australia.
By taking this ‘whole of life’ approach, the research will build a holistic understanding of the long-term benefits to children’s health, education and wellbeing and to society by investing in early childhood. It will also seek to quantify the costs of not taking positive action in the early years. The results of this research will support policymakers and practitioners by helping to prioritise services to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Early Years Economic Summit
The Early Years Economic Summit, led by CoLab, was held in Perth on Wednesday November 8, 2017. International expert Professor David Bloom from Harvard University’s School of Public Health was joined by speakers such as Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne Jeff Borland, Professor Paul Flatau, the Chair in Social Investment and Impact and Director of the Centre for Social Impact at the UWA Business School, and Professor of Economics at the University of Sydney Deborah Cobb-Clark.
Place-based Approaches for Families and Communities
Midland Demonstration Project
CoLab is supporting the Midland community group, ‘we the people', to build local support for a demonstration project in the Midland region of Perth. Demonstration projects test and measure the effects of potential program changes in communities. The Midland project aims to improve the life outcomes of children and families experiencing vulnerability by supporting the uptake of services through better service coordination and design, and reducing the barriers to access. The project partners are working with key Midland service providers and community representatives to identify issues facing families experiencing adversity and what the best approaches to supporting them might be.
The findings of a research study undertaken by CoLab that looked at the developmental status of children aged zero to eight in the Midland region and the services that support them and their families was released in April 2018.