Projects Aboriginal HealthEducation & Childhood Development

Evaluation of the Connected Beginnings program

Projects Aboriginal HealthEducation & Childhood Development

Evaluation of the Connected Beginnings program

Projects Aboriginal HealthEducation & Childhood Development

Evaluation of the Connected Beginnings program

  • Services

    Evaluation & Advisory

  • Status

    Complete

  • Client

    Australian Government Department of Health

  • Jurisdiction

    Australia

Connected Beginnings aims to support early childhood and health services to work together to better prepare Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children for school in selected communities.  The overall aim is to decrease the disparities in school readiness and educational outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.

The Department of Health (Health) and the Department of Education and Training (Education) jointly funded the Connected Beginnings program from 2016-17 to 2018-19.

AHA was contracted to undertake the program evaluation.

AHA will identify the factors contributing to the program’s success and how it is benefitting individual communities. The evaluation will also help inform the development of future education and health services and inform the future directions of the program.

The Departments of Health and Education are working together to implement Connected Beginnings to support the integration of early childhood services in up to 15 sites across Australia.

Education will fund selected ‘lead agencies’ and Health will fund access to the health services, both of which will be co-located on, or adjacent to, school grounds and serve the catchment area of the lead agency/school.

AHA’s approach to the evaluation:

  • Recognises that circumstances differ in each location and community
  • Emphasises good practice and encourages models that are tailored to respond to the specific needs of each location
  • Uses methods firmly grounded in recognition of the cultural sensitivities that apply when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and in particular considerations that underpin each community.

AHA’s evaluation team includes both Indigenous and non-Indigenous personnel, who will work with and visit each site, to understand the benefits of each model and its impact in the locality.

Connected Beginnings aims to decrease the disparities in school readiness and educational outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.