The first full year of operation for CoLab has presented a number of successes and unique opportunities that build foundations for meeting our mission of translating evidence into policy and practice.
In 2017 we have:
Garnered support from more than 70 early childhood experts across Australia and internationally to develop the first Australian Declaration for Young Children which outlines the foundations of what expert researchers have discovered about early childhood and actions needed to improve children’s outcomes in the early years. Organisations including ARACY, Child Australia, the Commissioner for Children and Young People WA, Playgroup WA, the Mitchell Institute, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Valuing Children Initiative and WACOSS have pledged their support for the Declaration.
Brought together economic experts across the education, health, social welfare and labour economic sectors to develop a ‘whole of child’ economic model to describe the lifetime benefits of optimal early childhood development.
Progressed work on developing a Child Development Atlas (CDA) which plans to link data from multiple government agencies to identify locations in Western Australia that could be more efficiently targeted by service providers to improve the health and well-being of children in the State.
Partnered with the Commissioner for Children and Young People WA (CCYP) to undertake design work for an outcomes framework for WA children and young people aged 0 – 18 years. This framework will be used by CCYP to inform its monitoring role (including an annual report to Parliament) and used consistently over the coming years.
Prepared a comprehensive process for communicating quality existing and new early childhood research. Five research products have been developed to date with a further five to be launched early next year.
Made submissions to three Government inquiries:
National Mental Health Plan
Productivity Commission’s National Education Evidence Base
Priority Service Review – Western Australian Government
Convened a number of high profile events with international experts Dr Jack Shonkoff from the Harvard Center for the Developing Child, Professor David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Prof of Economics and Demography in the Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health and UK Professor of Health Economics Mike Drummond.
Established three reference groups:
the CoLab Community Ambassador group with 13 community representatives from the Cockburn, Kwinana and Wanneroo areas, to inform the development of CoLab’s resources and materials targeting parents and communities.
the CoLab Research Consultation Group with 12 members chaired by Professor Caroline Barratt-Pugh from Edith Cowan University plus an extensive list of researchers who have asked to be Friends of CoLab
an Economic Consultation Group with five of Australia’s leading cross-sector economists as members, chaired by Professor Liz Geelhoed from the University of Western Australia
Progressed the early development of an app to provide parents and caregivers with evidence-based information addressing important health-related prompts and content to support their child’s developmental progression from birth to 8 years of age. A comprehensive scoping of national and international technology-based communication mechanisms has been conducted in advance of a wireframe development.
Awarded CoLab Top-Up scholarships to two PhD students undertaking research with a clear fit with CoLab’s mission of enhancing service delivery and building the capacity of communities to improve child development and learning.
We wish you a relaxing and happy festive season on behalf of the CoLab team and look forward to collaborating with you in the New Year.