Early Years Partnership

A partnership between the State Government and the Minderoo Foundation to work differently with communities to improve the development, health and learning of children from conception to four years, and to create lasting change.
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A child’s development from conception to the age of four is a critical period when the foundations for lifetime learning, health and behaviour are formed. According to the Australian Education Development Census (AEDC), one in five children in WA is considered developmentally vulnerable by the time they start full-time schooling. Despite significant investment from all levels of government, the AEDC shows the status of children in disadvantaged communities has improved only marginally in recent years.

Research shows that improvement in a child’s development will not result from a single program, but rather a portfolio of approaches tailored to suit the individual needs of the child and their community.

The Early Years Partnership (EYP) aims to improve child well-being and school readiness in four WA communities and in doing so learn what it takes to create change for children across Western Australia. It is a 10-year collective impact partnership with four communities, the Western Australian Government (Departments of Communities, Health and Education,) and the Minderoo Foundation. The partnership is supported by Telethon Kids Institute, the evidence and evaluation partner.

In May 2024, the Cook Government and Minderoo Foundation announced their continued investment in the Early Years Partnership with an injection of $34.6 million to progress 24 projects identified in the Community Plans. View the Minister’s media statement.

Visit the EYP website.

Early Years Partnership Communities

The Early Years Partnership has partnered with four communities within Western Australia:

  • Armadale West (metro)
  • Central Great Southern (Comprising the Shires of Katanning, Kojonup, Gnowangerup and Broomehill-Tambellup) (regional)
  • Derby (remote)
  • Bidyadanga Aboriginal Community (remote Aboriginal community)

Each EYP community will develop a Community Plan, which will identify key priorities to improve children’s well-being within that community and be supported to develop evidence-based solutions to be implemented at the local level.

Early Years Partnership Governance

The Early Years Partnership is overseen by a Board, comprising senior representatives from partner agencies.

Board members

  • Matthew Cox (Independent Co-Chair)
  • Glenda Kickett (Independent Co-Chair)
  • Mike Rowe (Director General, Communities)
  • Ana Nieto (Director Early Childhood Development, Minderoo Foundation)
  • Juan Larranaga (Minderoo Foundation)
  • Jeffrey Moffet (Chief Executive, WA Country Health Service)
  • Lisa Rodgers (Director General, Department of Education)
  • Jacqueline McGowan-Jones (Commissioner for Children and Young People)
  • Chris D’Souza (Acting Group Manager, Community Policy and Engagement Group, Australian Government Department of Social Services)


News story

Early Years Partnership to receive funding boost of $34.6m

The State Government and Minderoo Foundation will continue investing in better outcomes for children through the Early Years Partnership with an injection of $34.6 million to projects across four Western Australian communities.