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Changing how Australia supports families raising children with disability

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Independent Review Announced! 

Our Healthy Trajectories team is delighted to be leading an outstanding consortium to independently review best practice in early childhood intervention and develop a new Best Practice Framework for Early Childhood Intervention. This framework will help to ensure children growing up in Australia with disability or developmental concerns and their families are well supported and have every chance to thrive. 

This Best Practice Framework relates specifically to Action Item 2.4 of the Early Childhood Targeted Action Plan (TAP), which is overseen by the Department of Social Services and is one of five TAPs under Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 

Funded by the Department of Social Services, the consortium is led by Professor Christine Imms of the University of Melbourne in partnership with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Professionals and Researchers in Early Childhood Intervention, SNAICC – National Voice of our Children and Children and Young People with Disability Australia. 

The consortium brings together academic expertise, early childhood intervention practice expertise, international experts and leaders, and most importantly, lived experience of families and communities across the country including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

This team of experts in early childhood intervention have collaboratively developed a thoroughly founded methodology, that draws on our extensive project skills, deep knowledge of the field of early childhood intervention and the resources of our partnership, to develop the new Practice Framework. 

This review of the Early Childhood Intervention Best Practice Framework is a foundational piece required to underpin the community’s demand for change in how Australia supports families raising children with developmental concerns or disability.

(Professor Christine Imms, Consortium Lead) 


What our consortium will deliver 

The outcome of this work will contribute to the four Priority Focus Areas in the recently announced Early Years Strategy, to value the early years, empower parents, caregivers and families, support and work with communities, and strengthen accountability and coordination. It will support key recommendations on early childhood from the independent NDIS Reviews. 

The Early Childhood Intervention Best Practice Framework will be developed through deep consultation with parents, caregivers, professionals and researchers in the early childhood community across Australia.


As part of the project, the consortium will deliver: 

  1. An evidence report that combines findings from literature and a broad consultation with people with lived experience and early childhood intervention expertise. This report will outline the principles, practices, implementation strategies and desired outcome metrics required to support evidence-informed early childhood intervention in Australia. 
  2. A practical, implementable, Best Practice Framework that can be used by parents/caregivers, practitioners, and governments. 
  3. Translational materials and tools for key stakeholders to understand and use the framework in their everyday practice and lives. 
  4. A communications strategy to effectively socialise the framework, including its associated tools and materials.  

The team looks forward to hearing from and working with all those with an interest in supporting the early years of children’s lives as we begin this vital work.  

If you would like to contact the project team, please email [email protected] 

To contribute or to receive updates on progress please register your interest.


Meet the team 

University of Melbourne teams 

 Healthy trajectories logoHealthy Trajectories 

“As the Director of Healthy Trajectories, a child and disability research hub, I value highly the opportunity to work in partnership with key leaders in the early childhood sector to deliver this independent review of the Early Childhood Intervention Best Practice Framework. This is a unique and critical time in Australia, where we can make a real difference to the lives of families raising children with developmental concerns and disability across the country. We are eager to begin the work.”  Director of Healthy Trajectories, Professor Christine Imms

Unimelb logoMelbourne Disability Institute (MDI) 

Professor Bruce Bonyhady, Director of the Melbourne Disability Institute said “MDI is delighted to be part of a strong collaboration with young people with disability, families and experts in early childhood to develop Australia’s best practice framework for early childhood intervention. Australian children with disability deserve the best start in life and this framework, along with the Early Years Strategy and reforms coming out of the NDIS Review, will help make sure they and their families get the support they need to thrive.” 

Strong kids logoSTRONG kids, STRONG future 

STRONG kids, STRONG future is thrilled to be part of this consortium, promoting essential partnerships to ensure the best outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.” Clinical Lead STRONG kids, STRONG future, Associate Professor Anita D’Aprano 


Partners in the consortium 

MCRI logoMurdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) 

Dr. Tim Moore of the Centre for Community Child Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Centre, welcomed the announcement. “We are delighted to be part of the consortium that is developing a national framework for early childhood intervention services. We see this as one of the important ways to promote excellence in services and supports for families and drive a more equitable and quality system for children with additional needs and their families.” 

Preci logoPractitioners and Researchers in Early Childhood Intervention (PRECI) 

“PRECI is excited to be involved in this collaborative project supporting the implementation of equitable, high-quality services and practices at a critical period of children’s lives.  We look forward to engaging with services and practitioners who support children with developmental delays/concerns or disability and their families. PRECI is committed to the co-production of a Framework that enables meaningful inclusion and participation in home and community life.” Chair of PRECI, Denise Luscombe  

SNAICC logoSNAICC: National Voice for our Children 

“SNAICC’s involvement ensures the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families will be centered in this work. Our children thrive when they are connected to country, community and kin. We know the critical role Aboriginal community-controlled organisations (ACCOs) in the early childhood sector play in strengthening these connections for vulnerable families. We look forward to bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, research and lived experience to this work, so best practice means the best outcomes for our children.” SNAICC – National Voice for our Children CEO Catherine Liddle

Cyda logoChildren and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) 

“CYDA is delighted to be part of this project and working closely with the range of expertise and experience represented. Children with disability and their families are critical stakeholders for this Framework.  Including the voices of young people with disability will mean that the Framework can bring to life everyday inclusion so crucial for a great start in life.” Skye Kakoschke-Moore, CEO, Children and Young People with Disability Australia



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