What do we want to achieve?
By 2027, increase the number of children in Western Australia who are developmentally on-track on all five domains of the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) by 10%.
- We all want a bright future for our children. We have a responsibility to give them the best possible start in life.
- All the evidence says that how a child develops in their first five years is critical to their future success.
- Parents, families, communities, governments and service providers need to work together to support children in these early years.
- The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a holistic measure of children in their first year of school. Targeting an improvement in AEDC indicators is a way of focusing and improving our collective effort to ensure all children are ready to start school.
- Building stronger foundations in the early years is supporting a brighter future for our children, our community and our State.
Interpreting the results
The graph shows the proportion of children assessed as developmentally on-track across all five domains of the AEDC:
- physical health and wellbeing
- social competence
- emotional maturity
- language and cognitive skills (school-based)
- communication skills and general knowledge.
In Western Australia, 55.2% of children — or 17,945 children — assessed on the AEDC in 2015 were developmentally on-track on all five domains. The intent is to improve on this figure by 10%. Results from the 2018 AEDC are expected to be available in March 2019.
Below is a snapshot of some of the activities that are already underway to help achieve this target.
- Early Years Initiative — a 10-year partnership between the State Government, Minderoo and Telethon Kids Institute to improve the development, health and learning of children from conception to 4 years.
- Services to support parents and caregivers including:
- Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) gives parents practical strategies to help them build strong, healthy relationships with their children
- Better Beginnings to support parents reading to children to improve early literacy
- Child and Parent Centres are community centres where families with young children can access early learning programs, parenting support, and child and maternal health and wellbeing services
- State-wide Parenting Line offers phone advice and support to parents and carers of children up to 18 years
- Connecting Early Years Network supports local communities to improve outcomes for children and families.
- Early years education including:
- Participation in the National Quality Framework for Educational and Care Services to improve the quality of early childhood education and care
- Community-based playgroups (including stronger links with schools)
- KindiLink supported playgroups for three-year old Aboriginal children and their families.
- Health care including:
- Mental Health Promotion, Mental Illness, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program 2018-2025 aims to provide an overview of recommended programs, strategies and initiatives that promote optimal mental health, including specific strategies for perinatal and early years (0-3 years) and children and young people (4-17 years)
- Community nursing programs, Aboriginal Medical Services and school-based nursing programs
- Child Development Service provides assessment, early intervention and treatment services to children with developmental delay or difficulty.
- Putting patients first in the health system continues to be a major focus of the Government. In addition, implementation of the Sustainable Health Review will drive better health outcomes for patients.
- Supporting Communities