Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Changing Children's Chances project

Published on by Elodie O'Connor

Children’s early experiences shape their health, development and wellbeing. When children experience health and developmental inequities, it can undermine this now and into the future.

Currently, more than one third of Australian children experience health and developmental inequities, and 1 in 5 Australian children are born into adversity. The COVID-19 pandemic has made things even harder for these children.

Reducing inequities can improve children’s health, development and wellbeing, but no single policy or service will close the equity gap alone. 

We have developed a framework for understanding the factors that shape children’s health, development and wellbeing. These factors provide opportunities to identify inequities and take action to make a difference.

The project uses new and creative ways to analyse existing data. Stacking interventions enables us to determine which combinations of interventions work best to reduce inequities. The team are testing how stacking interventions contributes to ensuring all children have an opportunity to thrive.

We have found that stacked interventions can reduce child inequities, such as those found in reading skills, mental health and physical health at school-age. By taking action across families, communities, and policies, the best health, development and wellbeing outcomes for all can be achieved.

Our findings can help decision makers understand how to use limited public funding in the most effective ways. Informed decisions lead to more precise policies (when, for whom, how much?), with greater impact, and the speed needed to make a difference now.

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Australian Research Council Linkage Program (LP190100921)

Principal Investigator

Professor Sharon Goldfeld

Research Group

Policy & Equity

Contact Person

Dr Sarah Gray

Project Website