Best Start is an early years initiative to support families and caregivers to provide the best possible environment, experiences and care for children from birth to age eight.
The program focuses on children experiencing vulnerability and all Aboriginal children.
Best Start partnerships use local data and community knowledge to identify those who are experiencing vulnerability at their sites. Communities and service providers collaborate to address issues as they are experienced at a neighbourhood or regional level.
This localised, targeted way of finding solutions to problems faced by families has been shown to be extremely effective. Efforts are focused on boosting children's participation in the programs such as kindergarten and maternal and child health (MCH) services.
The program also puts in place prevention strategies, such as providing referral pathways when targeted supports are required.
Best Start has a strong emphasis on prevention and early intervention, and has a particular focus on children experiencing vulnerability and all Aboriginal children.
It is based on formal partnerships of local agencies and service providers that plan, deliver and monitor evidence-based strategies to improve outcomes for children.
The primary outcomes of the project are:
children engage and participate in early childhood education (kindergarten and supported playgroups)
children and families actively engage with Maternal and Child Health services, attending key ages and stages visits.