The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.
Demography v. 56 no. 1 Feb 2019: 367-390
Previous studies have found that socioeconomic status has a bigger impact on children's life chances in the United States than in many other countries. This article investigates one aspect further: the impact of income inequality on children's school readiness. It compares data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study with data from 3 overseas studies: the Millennium Cohort Study from the United Kingdom, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, and the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth from Canada. The analysis finds that lower-income families face a similar level of disadvantage, it is the higher-income parents in the United States that are able to confer a greater advantage in terms of children's school readiness than similarly affluent parents overseas.
Parkville, Vic. : University of Melbourne, 2019.
The Early Years Education Program is an early years care and education program in Victoria targeting children who are exposed to significant family stress, abuse, or social disadvantage. The program aims to address the consequences of family stress on children's development and ensure that at-risk and vulnerable children arrive at school developmentally equal to their peers and equipped to be successful learners. This is the fourth report from an evaluation of the program, and looks at the impacts on children and their carers after the first 2 years of enrolment. A total of 145 infants and toddlers were recruited to the EYEP trial, from 99 families engaged with family services or child protection services. Outcomes include IQ, language skills, protective factors related to resilience, social-emotional development, carer psychological distress, and the home environment. This fourth report found that the program had a significant positive impact on IQ, protective factors related to resilience, and social-emotional development. However, these varied by gender: for example, resilience was significantly improved for boys but not at all for girls.
Parkville, Vic. : University of Melbourne, 2019.
The Early Years Education Program is an early years care and education program developed by the Children's Protection Society. The program targets children who are exposed to significant family stress, abuse, or social disadvantage, and aims to address the consequences of family stress on children's development and ensure that at-risk and vulnerable children arrive at school developmentally equal to their peers and equipped to be successful learners. This report describes the conceptual frameworks underpinning the model and its key components. It discusses the background of the program, early years education pedagogy, attachment theory, parent engagement and participation, wrap around services, and structures and processes to support and scaffold the work of EYEP educators. The Victorian Department of Human Services 2007 list of risk factors to healthy child development are included as an appendix.
Wellington N.Z. : Ministry of Social Development, 2019.
This report explores the association between adverse experiences in early childhood and later school readiness, using data from the 'Growing Up in New Zealand' longitudinal study. Adverse experiences include exposure to maltreatment and experiencing parental divorce, family abuse, mental illness, substance abuse, or incarceration, while school readiness was measured with a range of cognitive development tests. The study found that adverse childhood experiences were common in this group: by 54 months old, nearly 53% had experienced at least one adverse experience and 2.6% had experienced 4 or more. These adverse experiences were consistently associated with family income, deprivation, mother's education and age, and partner's age. The study also found a clear dose-response association between adverse experiences and school readiness.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly v. 48 3rd Quarter 2019: 325-340
This article looks when a child starts school in New South Wales and how this influences their development. In New South Wales, children born between January and July have the choice to start school in the year they turn five, or delay entry until the year they turn six. Using administrative data for children who started school in 2009 or 2012, the article first explores the child, family, and neighbourhood characteristics associated with whether a family delays a child starting school. It then investigates whether starting age has an impact on development, as measured by the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC). The analysis finds that a quarter of eligible children delayed starting school until the year they turned six - children from socioeconomically advantaged neighbourhood or boys in particular. It also finds a significant relationship between school starting age and development - with each month of maturity associated with an increased likelihood of better development. The article concludes by discussing how the results compare with previous research and the policy implications.
Parkville, Vic. : University of Melbourne, 2018.
The Early Years Education Program is an early years care and education program in Victoria targeting children who are exposed to significant family stress, abuse, or social disadvantage. The program aims to address the consequences of family stress on children's development and ensure that at-risk and vulnerable children arrive at school developmentally equal to their peers and equipped to be successful learners. This is the second report from an evaluation of the program, and looks at the impacts on children and their carers after the first 12 months of enrolment. A total of 145 infants and toddlers were recruited to the EYEP trial, from 99 families engaged with family services or child protection services. Outcomes include IQ, language skills, protective factors related to resilience, social-emotional development, carer psychological distress, and the home environment. This second report found that the benefits of the program are encouraging but not as yet conclusive.
Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children - annual statistical report 2017. Melbourne : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2018: 73-86
Children's development as they begin school is vitally important for their educational pathways, with children who start school with weaker skills tending to continue to struggle. This chapter explores the association between preschool participation at three and four years of age and school readiness, using data from the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) linked to data from 'Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children' (LSAC). It compares attendance at preschool, long day care, and no formal care, at age three and at age four. The findings show that there is an association between preschool attendance and children's development at school entry, particularly for those developmental domains closely related to learning. However, some factors associated with the decision to enrol a child in a preschool program are also strong predictors of developmental outcomes, such as parental education, socioeconomic status, and 'investment' in children. Note, these children started school in 2009, before the introduction of funding for universal preschool access for four year olds.
Hobart, Tas. : Commissioner for Children and Young People Tasmania, 2018.
This report updates the 2017 publication 'Health and wellbeing of Tasmania's children, young people, and their families'. This report series will present the latest statistics on key indicators of children and young people's health and wellbeing in Tasmania, and annual updates will be released to update existing indicators and add additional data. This 2018 edition has 4 parts. Part 1 provides population and demographic data, part 2 looks at early childhood and the transition to school, part 3 focuses on middle childhood and adolescence, and part 4 concerns targeted services and systems, including child protection, family violence intervention, and homelessness and housing services.
Auckland : Growing up in New Zealand, 2018.
Growing Up in New Zealand is a longitudinal study following the growth and development of children in New Zealand, from pregnancy until aged 21 years old. This report presents information from mothers during the transition to school period. It aims to measure individual, family, and school indicators of children's school readiness and so enable an assessment of how it might impact upon child development. Sections include: experiences and uptake of the free preschool health and development check, concerns and referrals from the check, participation in early childhood education, school transition activities, mothers' experience of their child's school transition, children's experience of starting school, difficulties and how long they lasted, school choice, school attendance, class size and learning environment, school food programmes, getting to and from school, before and after school care, moving to another school, parental satisfaction with school, and parental involvement at school. Note, this 72 Month Data Collection was the first wave designed to be self-completed by mothers online. Though the participation rate was high (84%, or 5,709 mothers), this is lower than previous rates and non-participants were significantly more likely to be from disadvantaged groups than those who did participate.
Family Matters no. 100 2018: 4-18
Though social and emotional wellbeing is an important outcome for policy makers in health and education, it is not adequately reflected by mainstream mental health assessment tools - in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. This article aims to identify the early childhood factors associated with later social and emotional wellbeing when the child is ready to start school, and to develop a new indicator that could capture a more holistic view of wellbeing. It draws on data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children to look at selected individual and family factors during pregnancy and up to 2 years of age compared to children's prosocial behaviour, mental health, connectedness, and other surrogate proxies for social and emotional wellbeing at school commencement. Though the authors were unable to create a single index of social and emotional wellbeing, the findings highlight the need to apply caution in applying Western biomedical health and wellbeing measures to Indigenous concepts and states.
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 76 Feb 2018: 426-439
This article examines the impact of child maltreatment during early childhood on school readiness. Data from the Australian Early Development Census was linked to information on substantiated and unsubstantiated child maltreatment allegations, including age, number, and type of allegations. The study found children with a maltreatment allegation were at increased risk of poor school readiness. Substantiated maltreatment was associated with poor social and emotional development, and children with unsubstantiated maltreatment allegations were also at risk. The implications for school support and interventions are briefly discussed.
Perth, W.A. : Dept. of Education, 2017.
The Western Australian Government's Child and Parent Centre initiative aims to support families with developmentally vulnerable children. The Centres operate on public primary school sites in collaboration with nongovernment community services, and target families with at risk children from before birth to four years of age. It aims to close the gap between the development, health, and learning outcomes of young children, particularly those at risk of not achieving their potential. This report presents the findings and recommendations of an evaluation of the initiative, focusing on the 16 Centres that had been established by 2015 and their initial, short term outcomes. The evaluation examined progress towards meeting key objectives, outcomes, and deliverables and the elements for success and sustainability. The evaluation found that the Initiative is being implemented as intended and is on track to delivering the desired outcomes at this initial stage of implementation. The centres are improving access to early learning, early childhood education and community services, which have previously been largely independent of each other, with a focus at this stage on parenting, health and early learning services.
Parkville, Vic. : University of Melbourne, 2017.
This report describes the characteristics and family backgrounds of children taking part in the three-year trial of the Early Years Education Program (EYEP) in Victoria. EYEP is an early years care and education program targeting children who are exposed to significant family stress, abuse, or social disadvantage. The program aims to address the consequences of family stress on children's development and ensure that at-risk and vulnerable children arrive at school developmentally equal to their peers and equipped to be successful learners. A total of 145 infants and toddlers have been recruited to the trial, from 97 families engaged with family services or child protection services. Even relative to children living in low socioeconomic status households, these children are highly disadvantaged and their carers have fewer personal and social resources available to face the challenges of parenting.
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood v. 42 no. 4 Dec 2017: 56-67
The Starting School Study explored the transition to school from the perspectives of parents living in a disadvantaged area of Sydney, Australia. Fifty-seven parents participated in semi-structured interviews about their child's transition to school between 2009 and 2011. Topics discussed included: preparation for school, the first day, school relationships, supports and barriers to involvement, and aspirations. A team of researchers working collaboratively in 2011 consolidated national and international research and theory of transition to school, to develop and publish an aspirational document entitled 'Transition to school: position statement'. The statement recognised and promoted the importance of transition to school using four constructs: opportunities, expectations, entitlements and aspirations. The results of the Starting School Study are discussed using these constructs. Overall, mothers in the study valued education, wanted their children to achieve and be successful, and hoped their children would have positive experiences of school; better than their own. The pivotal role of the teacher is discussed.
Melbourne, Vic. : Victorian Government, 2017.
This independent review was commissioned by state and territory officials in Australia to make recommendations on the most effective interventions in early childhood, with a focus on school readiness, improving achievement in schools, and future success in employment or further education. The review finds that quality early childhood education makes a significant contribution to achieving educational excellence in schools, with growing evidence that it improves school readiness, lifts NAPLAN results and PISA scores, raises year 12 completion rates, and reduces the need for additional support - particularly so for vulnerable or disadvantaged children. The wider benefits and return on investment are also considered. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the review.
Auckland : Growing up in New Zealand, 2017.
Growing Up in New Zealand is a longitudinal study following the growth and development of children in New Zealand, from pregnancy until aged 21 years old. For Wave 1, a main cohort of 6,822 women and 4,401 of their partners were interviewed in 2010, during pregnancy or just after the child's birth. This report presents data on the children in their preschool years, now that they are four years old. Topics include health, development, family and whanau, housing, and income, with information provided on diet, sleep, illness, health care, immunisations, media use, screen time, physical activity, social and emotional functioning, behaviour and conduct, self control, language and communication, household structure, parenting, inter-parental relationships, mother's health, early childhood education and care arrangements, home learning environment, school readiness, residential mobility, housing tenure and stability, parental work and income, area level deprivation, and material hardship. The conceptual framework, cohort retention, and data completeness are also discussed.
Hobart, Tas. : Commissioner for Children and Young People Tasmania, 2017
This set of reports provides an overview of some of the issues facing children, young people, and parents in Tasmania. It collates the latest statistics on key indicators of children and young people's health and wellbeing and identifies gaps in the research base. The 3 parts have been progressively released into one document. Part one, 'Early childhood and the transition to school', covers demographic information and key indicators relating to early childhood and the transition to school, including birth rate and maternal background, nutrition, early learning and development, and school readiness. Part two, 'Middle childhood and adolescence', focuses on the time of entering primary school to turning 18 and moving on to further education and employment, and includes information on health behaviours, suicide, fertility, alcohol and drugs, educational attainment, crime, and youth detention. Part three, 'Parents, families and communities', looks at parent-related factors such as parental health, income and housing, child abuse and family violence, and supports. An updated version will be released annually, updating the existing indicators and adding additional data.
PLoS ONE v. 11 no. 7 May 2016: Article e0158802
Both socioemotional and behavioural difficulties and speech-language difficulties affect many pre-school aged children, and these difficulties are highly comorbid, with nearly three quarters of children with socioemotional and behavioural difficulties also having clinically significant language deficits and over half of children with diagnosed language deficits having socioemotional and behavioural difficulties. This article examines this overlap between these difficulties using a population-based sample, rather than a clinical population, and investigates the family and community-level risk factors involved. It analyses data from the School Entry Health Questionnaire of Victoria, for the 53,256 children who started school in 2011. The study found that 15% of children were classed as having speech-language difficulties, nearly 9% of children were classed as having socioemotional and behavioural difficulties, and just over 3% of the children experienced both. The study identified that five factors predicted comorbidity, with higher likelihoods for children with multiple factors: witnessing violence, a history of parent mental illness, living in more deprived communities, and the fathers or the mothers educational attainment.
Adelaide, SA : Fraser Mustard Centre, 2016
The South Australian government has developed 'Children's Centres for Early Childhood Development and Parenting' to bring together a broad range of early childhood services to provide better support to families with complex needs and disadvantage. As part of a three-year evaluation, this report investigates the processes and impacts of the service. It assesses whether effective pathways and referrals are provided, whether the range of services meet community needs and how they vary between sites, system-level supports and challenges, facilitators and challenges for integration, the processes that facilitate effective responses by partnerships and governance groups, who is accessing services, impact on parenting practices and parent wellbeing, and the impact of attending a Children's Centre preschool on school readiness. This quantitative component is the final stage of the evaluation and builds upon the themes identified in earlier focus groups and interviews. It draws upon survey data, administrative data, and de-identified Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data linked to government preschool data.
Camberwell, Vic. : Australian Council for Educational Research, 2016.
Though Australia's students perform well by international students, quality schooling can never be taken for granted and there have been declines in performance in some areas. This paper highlights five challenges facing the education system today - as well as their possible solutions - as a starting point towards improving education in Australia. These are: Equipping students for the 21st Century, in part by increasing reading, mathematical and scientific literacy levels; Reducing disparities between schools, particularly along socioeconomic lines, by ensuring that every student has access to an excellent school and excellent teaching; Reducing the 'long tail' of underachieving students who fall behind year-level curriculum expectations and thus fail to meet minimum international standards; Getting all children off to a good start, by reducing the number of children who begin school with low levels of school readiness and so are at risk of ongoing low achievement; and Raising the professional status of teaching, by increasing the number of highly able school leavers entering teaching.
Camberwell, Vic. : Australian Council for Educational Research, 2016.
This literature review provides an overview about the factors that ensure an effective transition to school for Aboriginal children and the role that television can play in achieving it, utilising a positive, strengths-based perspective. It is undertaken as part of an evaluation of the School Readiness Initiative (SRI) television series, which is supported by the Dusseldorp Forum. The SRI TV series aims to provide insight into mainstream schooling culture and thus improve the school readiness of Indigenous children. This report reviews current knowledge on Indigenous early childhood education, Indigenous school readiness, educational television and childhood development, and school transition programs for Indigenous children.
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood v. 40 no. 4 Dec 2015: 13-20
This paper papers examines a recent example of a transition-to-preschool program in regional Australia. The program is significant in linking Aboriginal child health and early childhood learning services. The discussion is drawn from a mixed method evaluation undertaken at the end of the program's first two years of funding. Evaluation findings suggest that many barriers to participation in early childhood learning programs for Aboriginal children can be reduced with responsive support. The study points to the need for funding for innovations to be seen as an essential investment, not an unwanted cost.
Melbourne, Vic. : Mitchell Institute, 2015.
This report investigates how well the education and training system in Australia meets the needs of children and young people - for all Australians and regardless of where they live or what school they attend. It focuses on milestones at the end of each of the main stages of learning and development: Early childhood years measured at the point of school entry; Middle years measured at entry to secondary school; Senior school years measured at the end of secondary school; and Early adulthood measured at age 24. Topics include engagement in early education and care, school readiness, student engagement and wellbeing, the widening gap from the early to middle years, international comparisons of achievement, those who improve and those who remain behind, the compounding effects of multiple risk factors, factors influencing achievement, retention and attendance, confidence and views on school, aspirational families, and participation in higher education, vocational education and training, apprenticeships, and the labour market. The report highlights that though many young people succeed at each key milestone at the end of the main stages of learning and development, a minority miss out - not yet sufficiently well-prepared to take on the challenges of the following stages of their lives.
Journal of Epidemiology of Community Health v. 69 no. 9 Sep 2015: Article 841
Children from lower income families are more likely to start school with poorer cognitive skills and more socioemotional problems than children from more affluent families - however, higher quality childcare may help narrow this developmental gap. Previous research has found that of the three domains of childcare quality - higher quality carer-child relationships, activities provided, and childcare provider characteristics - only relationship quality was associated with child development. This article investigates whether higher quality carer relationships are especially important for helping children from lower income families. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, it compares quality of carer-child relationships for 2-3 year old children and 4-5 year old children's receptive vocabulary and behavioural difficulties at school entry, for low-income and high-income households.
Knowledge Circle Discussions 4 Feb 2014
Theory-based approaches to evaluation, such as realist evaluation, make explicit 'for whom' and 'in which circumstances' programs work and 'how' they work to achieve outcomes. This article outlines the characteristics of a realist evaluation and highlights how the Aboriginal Parental Engagement Program (APEP) used this approach to evaluate their work. APEP is a school readiness program for Aboriginal children, implemented by the Young Women's Christian Association of Adelaide.
Deadly Vibe 21 Feb 2014
This article outlines a recent visit by the inventor of the Abecedarian Approach, Professor Joe Sparling, to the Paraburdoo and Wakuthuni Early Childhood Centres managed by the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation. The article notes how the Abecedarian Approach underpins Gumala's innovative 3A Learning Centres and comments on its success, with quotes from Professor Sparling, Gumala's General Manager of Education, Lynne Beckingham, and Principal of Paraburdoo Primary School, Troy Withers.
Fitzroy, Vic. : Brotherhood of St. Laurence, 2014.
The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a voluntary, 2-year, early childhood learning and parenting program designed to enhance school readiness by engaging parents as their child's first teacher. After initially being implemented within Australia on a small scale, it has now been rolled out nationally and is now in 75 disadvantaged communities. Data provided by HIPPY Australia indicates a retention rate of 72%, which appears to be within the average retention range for international HIPPY programs as well as home visiting programs in general. This report was commissioned to investigate how HIPPY recruitment and retention rates could be improved. It involved focus groups with 49 HIPPY coordinators, regarding their views on HIPPY program design and implementation, as well as site visits and a review of the international literature.
North Fitzroy, Vic. : SNAICC, 2014.
SNAICC is currently exploring how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children can best be supported in the transition to school - a crucial stage for any child's future schooling life and educational outcomes. A literature review, 'Supporting transition to school for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children: What it means and what works?', examined what constitutes a 'successful transition', and the key program elements involved. This new report investigates the practical implications of these findings and presents case studies of good practice from early childhood services, schools and family support services. The report also presents key recommendations for policy and practice and discusses the challenge of ensuring cultural competence within programs and targeted funding. It is hoped that this report will be a useful reference to inform the design, implementation and evaluation of transition programs.
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 2014.
Northcott was funded by the state government to develop and trial a school readiness program for Aboriginal children with additional needs in New South Wales. The program included therapy, family support and information, inclusive playgroups, and early education services for Aboriginal children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families, to better support school readiness and successful transition to school. The program operated in several locations across two sites in New South Wales from January 2012 to June 2013. This report presents the final evaluation findings of the program. The evaluation investigated program implementation, outcomes for children and families, and what supports and interventions can best assist Aboriginal families.
Washington, DC : Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, US Administration for Children and Families, 2013.
Head Start is a federally funded early childhood education program in the United States that aims to increase school readiness among low-income children from birth to age five years by boosting their cognitive, social, and emotional development. The Head Start CARES (Classroom-based Approaches and Resources for Emotion and Social skill promotion) demonstration project is trialing enhancements to the existing model. It is evaluating three interventions, including classroom-based social-emotional strategies, professional development, and related supports. This review report examines how well the enhancements were implemented, as part of a larger Head Start CARES randomized control trial.