In March MCRI co-hosted the National Early Years Summit in Melbourne with ARACY and other partners. For two days 450 delegates united to be challenged by experts – and each other – and to consider how to work together to take action so that more children in Australia thrive in their first 1000 days and beyond.
Summit participants came knowing that the first 1000 days is a critical window for child development and that many children don’t have the conditions they need to thrive during this period and beyond. They also came knowing that the current system is failing to meet the needs of young children and there remains much more to be done to achieve the results we want to see for all children.
The Summit process created a blueprint: a collective document which to inform national action to optimise the health, development and wellbeing of children in the first 1000 days. MCRI will join a small catalysing group that will oversee the next steps by focusing on:
- a shared narrative
- shared language and understanding
- powerful coalitions and partnerships
- community awareness
- investing in the capacity of families, communities and services
- measurement – how do we know children are better off?
- outcomes-based funding
- a process for deep engagement in the blueprint for all users.