We’re working to support early development and school-readiness for children in families experiencing poverty. This is one of the most important things we can do to minimise disadvantage across generations.

There is a well-known link between childhood vulnerability and lifelong disadvantage.

A well-designed early childhood system can actively prevent and address vulnerabilities in early childhood before they accumulate and escalate over a person's life course.

Our research informs BSL’s practice and policy development with strategies that support children and families in overcoming the impacts of poverty.

Find all recent publications on Early years (2000–present)

Visit the BSL library for our prior research on Early years (pre 2000)

Our policy positions for early years

• Boost support to build the capacity of parents as first teachers and strengthen the home learning environment.

• Extend universal preschool access to the two years before school across Australia, prioritising communities and children experiencing disadvantage.

• Increase participation of children from low socioeconomic backgrounds and vulnerable groups in early learning. Strengthen access and equity measures and expand the base entitlement for Early Learning & Care.

• Invest in multi-generation approaches to tackle child and family disadvantage. Extend place-based models that align education, employment, health and wellbeing support for children and their families.

External publication (with Victorian Department of Education and Training)

Australian Council for Educational Research & Brotherhood of St Laurence 2018, Early years transitions: supporting children and families at risk of experiencing vulnerability – rapid literature review

    Selected publications

    By Julie Connolly and Shelley Mallett 2020

    The most comprehensive study to date has investigated the impact of the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) on the Australian children and parents who take part.

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    By Julie Connolly and Roxanne Chaitowitz 2020

    By enlisting and supporting parents as tutors, the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) creates a transitional labour market that helps these parents develop their goals and improve their job opportunities.

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    By Fatoumata Diallo Roost, Nicky McColl Jones, Malita Allan and Eric Dommers 2014

    This study examined the factors that affect the recruitment or retention of families in the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) which is now operating in 75 sites across Australia.

    Read report

    Related projects

    Research and Policy project

    Learning how HIPPY can best support early childhood education in Indigenous Australian communities

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    Research and Policy project

    This national longitudinal study examines the outcomes for over 600 children and families who took part in HIPPY between 2016 and 2018.

    Learn more

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    Our approach to working with people with disability focuses on building a sense of wellbeing and autonomy. We recognise the importance of family, friends, carers and community.

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