CfC FP ObjectiveSupporting families and parents
Create strong child-friendly communities
Delivered toParents of children aged 3 to 6 at high risk of developing an anxiety disorder. 
Delivered byTrained facilitators
Delivery settingCommunity-based 
Program developerMacquarie University Centre for Emotional Health 

About the program

Cool Little Kids is an early intervention version of the Cool Kids program that aims to educate parents on how best to parent a child with anxiety. 

Program structure

Six x 2-hour group sessions over 6 to 8 weeks, or 6 x 1-hour individual sessions covering:

  • Understanding anxiety and shyness in preschool children
  • Causes and risk factors for child anxiety
  • Helpful and unhelpful ways of responding to anxiety in children
  • Skills and strategies to help your child build brave behaviours and face fears
  • Dealing with setbacks and difficulties
  • How to maintain progress after the program ends. 

Facilitator training

To deliver the program, facilitators must have:

  • a 4-year undergraduate or 2-year postgraduate degree in health (psychology, counselling, social work, occupational therapy) or education
  • additional training in cognitive-behavioural therapy (dedicated postgraduate subject, introductory workshop or online training from a recognised provider). 

Any person wishing to run the Cool Little Kids program will need to first be trained and accredited in running the Cool Kids program (which is currently available). Modules related to Cool Little Kids will be offered at a later time.

Contact the Centre for Emotional Health for further information. 


Cool Kids training costs are:

  • E-learning and accreditation is $600
  • Face-to-face workshop cost is $360 standard ($330 early bird)
  • Accreditation is $300

Cool Little Kids training fees are yet to be confirmed. Learn more on the open MQ website.

The Cool Little Kids program kit costs $50 and includes:

  • 1 x program manual
  • 1 x parent workbook

Materials can be purchased from the Centre for Emotional Health.

Evaluation and effectiveness

The program has undergone several randomised controlled trials (RCT) including an RCT for a slightly modified version of the program aimed at high-risk children. Children whose parents participate in the program show signficant decreases in anxiety diagnoses and a lower frequency and severity of anxiety symptoms (Rapee et al., 2005; Rapee et al., 2010; Rapee et al., 2013). High-risk children showed a signficant reduction in anxiety disorders (Kennedy et al., 2009).

Learn more about the Cool Little Kids program


Kennedy, S., Rapee, R.M., & Edwards, S. (2009). A selective intervention program for inhibited preschool-aged children of parents with an anxiety disorder: Effects on current anxiety disorders and temperament. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 48(6), 602-609.

Rapee, R.M., Kennedy, S., Ingram, M., Edwards, S., & Sweeney, L. (2005). Prevention and early intervention of anxiety disorders in inhibited preschool children.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(3), 488-497.

Rapee, R.M., Kennedy, S., Ingram, M., Edwards, S., & Sweeney, L. (2010). Altering the trajectory of anxiety in at-risk young children. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(12), 1518-1525.

Rapee, R.M. (2013). The preventative effects of a brief, early intervention for preschool-aged children at risk for internalising: Follow-up into middle adolescence.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(7), 780-788.