In May 2003, the Prime Minister announced a commitment of $10 million under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy to early childhood prevention and intervention initiatives. Of this, $8.8 million has been allocated to initiatives under the National Agenda for Early Childhood, including $3.2 million to the Parenting Information Project.
Phase One of the project, undertaken between January and May 2004 and documented here, has been to develop the evidence base around early childhood and parenting by finding out what information parents want and need to assist them in their parenting role, at what transition points, and how they would prefer to receive this information.
Phase One of the project was undertaken by the Centre for Community Child Health. A separate project with an Indigenous focus is being undertaken by the Secretariat for National Aboriginal and Islander Care. A separate report, specifically about Indigenous parenting, will be provided later. Phase Two will involve developing and testing parenting information products and/or approaches based on these findings.
Phase One comprised two stages. In the first stage, a literature review was undertaken of best practice parenting programs and information focusing on the messages parents need to know and how these messages are best delivered; and examples of current parenting programs and information in Australia, together with gaps in information provision, were identified and documented. The second stage comprised substantial consultation with key professionals, policy makers and parents in each state and territory to identify what information and programs would support parents more effectively, and when and how this information is best provided.
These two stages culminated in a national workshop in late April 2004 to build on key findings, to consider a model for the provision of parenting information and support, and to consider actions for the future.
Phase One of the project is reported in five volumes:
- Volume 1: Main report
- Volume 2: Literature review
- Volume 3: Research into the information needs of Australian parents
- Volume 4: Consultation with professionals
- Volume 5: Compilation of information and program materials