Cradle to Kinder Evaluation Summary

Content type
Commissioned report

November 2017

Commissioning Body

Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

The Cradle to Kinder program is an early intervention program designed to address the needs of vulnerable children and families. It targets young pregnant women under 25 years of age. It also prioritises Aboriginal parents and their families, parents who are or have been in out of home care, and parents with a learning difficulty. It provides support for families from pregnancy through to when their child reaches four years of age. 

This program evaluation was undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies in partnership with the Centre for Community Child Health at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) between February 2013 and September 2015.

The evaluation found that based on the available evidence, the Cradle to Kinder model has largely met its objectives. It provided intensive and long-term support that made progress on addressing underlying issues such as mental illness, unemployment and unstable housing that contributed to the risk of families entering the statutory Child Protection system. 

The evidence from this evaluation indicates strongly that the Cradle to Kinder was a highly valued and much-needed program by all those involved. Early intervention programs like this can assist and respond to the needs of young parents whose children may be at risk of entering the statutory child protection system. 

A summary of this report is published on the Department of Health and Human Services website.