Long-term plan launched to transform way early childhood understood in Australia
Early Childhood Development and Learning Collaboration workshop attendees
CoLab, in collaboration with leading Australian government and non-government early childhood organisations, is developing a long-term communication initiative to transform the way early childhood development and learning is understood in Australia.
CoLab Director Professor Donna Cross said there were significant challenges to communicating information about early childhood development in Australia.
“While we know that early experiences have profound effects on the development of children’s brains and biological systems that can affect learning, health, relationships and shape future chances in life, research suggests the significance of early childhood development is not yet realised by the Australian public,” Professor Cross said.
“In response, we have established the Core Story for Early Childhood Development and Learning Collaboration with partners across Australia to develop an overarching narrative (core story) that will inform a wide range of communication activities. The Collaboration partners will support the shared direction of communications to lift public understanding of early childhood development and learning.”
The Early Childhood Development and Learning Collaboration is being facilitated by CoLab and the Centre for Community Child Health. It kicked off in early June with a workshop at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, attended by representatives from partners including CoLab, Telethon Kids, the Minderoo Foundation, Centre for Community Child Health, Australian Government Department of Social Services, Emerging Minds, Parenting Research Centre, Goodstart Early Learning, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), The Front Project, B4 Early Years Coalition, Department of Education Tasmania and Early Childhood Australia.
“We are engaging with world experts in communications science, the Frameworks Institute, to develop powerful and memorable evidence-based messages that can shift public understanding of early childhood development,” Professor Cross said.
The Collaboration will explore the following topic areas:
The foundational importance of the early years
‘Early’ = really early (including pregnancy)
Context matters: children's environments shape development; and poverty, disadvantage, and inequity are important dimensions of context
Parenting as a skill that requires support
Social emotional development/child mental health
The science of play.
Further information about the Collaboration is available here.