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The First 1000 Days: Catalysing equity outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Medical Journal of Australia
Kerry Arabena
December, 2014
Page nos: 

In January 2014, then Prime Minister Abbott set a target of bridging the gap in school attendance between Indigenous and non-Indigenous pupils within five years by employing truancy officers in communities. But what about children who cannot attend school full-time for behavioural or developmental reasons? We need to change the early childhood agenda from one of school preparation to one that addresses developmental delays early, so children are better prepared for school. We need a push for more action, greater coordination and stronger investments to ensure early equity targets are met. We need all governments to continue commitments to saving the next generation from the challenges of inequity — it's time to revisit a few fundamentals of human development at a time in a child's life when changes in service integration and family engagement can deliver on the promise of childhood equity.