The years from birth to five have been identified as the most important developmental period during childhood.1 Research shows that brain development in early childhood lays the foundation for emotional wellbeing, social competence, language and literacy development and cognitive abilities, influencing health, future learning and life outcomes.2,3
Children in this age group need to be in a safe and loving family setting with a stimulating learning environment, good health and material basics to provide the optimal foundations for their future wellbeing.
In the above table data for each indicator has been categorised as having good data availability when it is available on a regular basis (e.g. annually or biennially), provides some disaggregation by various characteristics and is of consistent quality to enable some form of trend analysis. Positive trends highlight any areas where many of WA’s children and young people are doing well or improving, while areas of concern outlines key areas which require attention and action.
- National Research Council Institute of Medicine 2000, From Neurons to Neighbourhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, eds JP Shonkoff & DA Phillips, National Academy Press.
- McCain MN and Mustard F 1999, Reversing the real brain drain: Early study: Final report, Ontario Children’s Secretariat.
- Warren D et al 2016, A Critical Review of the Early Childhood Literature, Australian Institute of Family Studies.