Tasmania’s child and family centres: a place-based early childhood services model for families and children from pregnancy to age five

18 Mar 2017

Tasmania’s child and family centres (Centres) provide a single entry point to early childhood services (ECS) for children and families living in amongst the most disadvantaged communities in Australia. This study investigated the impact of Centres on parents’ use and experiences of ECS using a mixed methods approach. The results showed that Centre users made more use of ECS than did non-users. Centre users also rated their experiences of ECS more positively than non-users. For example, Centre users were more likely to report that ECS were convenient and close, committed to helping, and worked closely with one another. Centre users identified Centres as informal, accessible, responsive, nonjudgemental and supportive places where they felt valued, respected and safe. Parents experienced Centres as welcoming places that were helping them to develop positive child, family, school and community connections. These qualities appeared critical for facilitating parental access and engagement in ECS

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