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Early childhood services



Towards a childcare guarantee

Childcare and early education in England isn’t working – for children, parents or providers. This report argues that it’s time for a childcare guarantee to lower barriers for parents getting back into work, to reduce costs for families with children, and to ensure every child...

Child Care Subsidy activity test: undermining child development and parental participation

This report argues that universal access to early childhood education and care will deliver significant improvements in childhood development, parental participation and productivity, and future productivity of the children that will benefit from greater access.

2021 Early childhood education and care national workforce census

The 2021 Early childhood education and care national workforce census was commissioned by the Australian Department of Education, as part of a range of Australian government initiatives designed to improve the quality of information used in developing and measuring early childhood policy and programs.
Briefing paper

Starting now: the first steps to delivering the best early childhood system for Australia

This briefing paper sets out a roadmap to a universal, accessible and affordable early childhood system in Australia.

Supporting all children to thrive

In 2021, more than 63,000 children were assessed as developmentally vulnerable when they started school, according to the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC). This analysis highlights the circumstances of disadvantage experienced by many of these children, how inequity of access to high quality Early Education...

Deserts and oases: how accessible is childcare in Australia?

The evidence is overwhelming on the impact of good quality early learning in fuelling children’s development and giving them a great start in life. This research reveals where in Australia the demand for space in early childhood education and care (ECEC) outpaces local capacity to...

What works to improve young children’s social, emotional and behavioural wellbeing?

This rapid evidence review identifies national and international prevention and early intervention programs that are effective at improving the social, emotional and behavioural health of at-risk children under the age of five.
Research Summary

Engaging clients in commissioning government services: strategies for doing it well

This summary outlines key findings from an evidence check conducted to identify the best strategies for effective and authentic client engagement in the commissioning of government services.

Counting the cost to families: assessing childcare affordability in Australia

Despite government subsidies, childcare is still a significant cost for many families. This paper reviews available data on expenditure and affordability, and presents new analysis of household expenditure data to understand how much Australian families are spending on early childhood education and care, as a...
Briefing paper

Impact of maternal age on children coming into contact with the child protection system

This paper reports findings from analysis of Department of Communities and Justice (NSW) child protection data looking at the relationship between maternal age and child protection contact and discuss implications for policy and practice.
Briefing paper

Participation in decision making: what are the views of children and young people in out-of-home care?

This paper provides an overview of the views of children and young people about whether they have a say in decisions that impact on their lives and whether they feel listened to, with findings drawn from two surveys, the 2018 NSW OOHC Survey and the...
Research Summary

Leaving care planning: what are the views of young people in out-of-home care?

This summary provides an overview of what young people think about the leaving care support they receive, with findings drawn from two surveys, the 2018 NSW OOHC Survey and the NSW Residential Care Survey.
Discussion paper

Every educator matters: evidence for a new early childhood workforce strategy for Australia

The early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce is essential to Australia’s economic and social prosperity. This paper draws on contemporary Australian research, to set out policy proposals for Australian governments to consider in developing and implementing the new national ECEC workforce strategy.
Briefing paper

Pushing the boundaries: using telehealth to improve regional access and care

This Policy Brief focuses on telehealth and the opportunity to use existing services more effectively to embed paediatric expertise in regional primary care.

How universal child benefits can build a fairer, more inclusive and resilient future

Universal child benefits (UCBs) are regular, unconditional income transfers in the form of cash or tax transfers, which are paid to caregivers of children from the time of pregnancy or birth until the child’s 18th birthday. In this report, the authors call upon governments, donors...
Systematic review

Outreach in early years services: a systematic review

The main finding from this systematic review was that there is a scarcity of studies reporting on the effectiveness of outreach activities to improve child outcomes in the early years.

The impact of inequalities in the early years on outcomes over the life course

This report draws together research from international academics and policy-makers on the impact of childhood inequalities on life outcomes across a broad range of topics including education, crime and well-being.

Government response to the Health and Social Care Select Committee report on 'First 1000 days of life'

This paper sets out the UK Government’s response to the conclusions and recommendations made in the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s report First 1000 days of life.

First 1000 days of life

This inquiry looked into the case for investing more public money in early childhood (the 'first 1000 days'), rather than during teenage years, which is the current practice.

Report on government services 2019: Child care, education and training - Chapter 3 Early childhood education and care

This chapter reports on the performance of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, which comprise child care and preschool services.