Review of early childhood parenting, education and health intervention programs for Indigenous children and families in Australia


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Content type
Commissioned report

February 2014

Commissioning Body

Closing the Gap Clearinghouse

To help close the gap in health, education and wellbeing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, action is needed through both universal services and targeted interventions.

To better inform practitioners and policy makers, this paper reviews the research literature on the effectiveness of intervention programs for Indigenous children and their families in early childhood. These include programs for parenting, early childhood education, and health.

The paper outlines what works, what doesn't, the state of the research, and what further research is needed.

Sections include: justification for reviewing research quality, mainstream parenting programs for disadvantaged families, indigenous-specific parenting programs, home visiting programs, early childhood education programs, programs targeting specific aspects of learning, specific formats for early childhood education programs, interventions targeting particular disorders and diagnoses, community-embedded maternal and infant health programs, broad health interventions including the social determinants of health, program implementation, program adaptation to local contexts and needs, and workforce safety and professional development.

This report was produced for the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse was a Council of Australian Governments’ initiative jointly funded by all Australian Governments. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Family Studies was funded from 2009 to 2014 to deliver the Clearinghouse.