Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth

First 1000 Days Partnership

The first 1000 days, from conception to age 2, is the most critical period of development that shapes children’s long-term outcomes. A First 1000 Days Partnership was formed in response to the limited policy focus on, and public understanding of the importance of the first 1000 days.

Our First 1000 Days Partnership is an alliance between:

First 1000 Days Partnership Group

Photo: The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce launches our First 1000 Days Partnership, with representatives from ARACY, Bupa, the Bupa Foundation and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI), at MCRI in November 2015. Credit: Miguel Rios

Our Partnership objectives

As a partnership, our overall aim is to effect policy, practice and parenting change to optimise support for children in the first 1000 days. Our key objectives are to:

  • raise greater policymaker awareness of the importance of the first 1000 days; elevating the first 1000 days as a key issue for all levels of Government, and ensuring that policies and investments are based on the best available evidence
  • raise greater public awareness of the first 1000 days; to influence support for required policy and practice change, as well as informing and supporting caregiving/parenting practices
  • create a united, evidence-based narrative about the importance of the first 1000 days across the early years sector, including within practitioner and community groups, to help shift the dial on public and policy discourse and create a movement to effect action.

Dame Quentin Bryce celebrating with children and families Where we will start

Our Partnership has been funded by the Bupa Health Foundation to undertake the Strong Foundations: Getting it Right in the First 1000 Days project. The purpose of this project is to develop a robust evidential foundation to support strong, well targeted investments in the health and wellbeing of Australia’s children. The project will map and analyse the current gap between evidence and investment in child and maternal health and related expenditure, with the intention to explore the policy implications of these findings, and – as a subsequent phase of the project – the economic implications.

What are our next steps?

Our First 1000 Days Partnership will be undertaking the Strong Foundations: Getting it Right in the First 1000 Days project. We will be writing a technical paper incorporating the latest evidence about the importance of the first 1000 days, and mapping and analysing the current gap between evidence and investment in child and maternal health and related expenditure.

Joining with others

We welcome the support of other organisations that seek a greater public policy focus on the first 1000 days, and a more strategic, evidence-based analysis and implementation of investment towards this important period. We invite you to share your work or interest in this area, and to follow our progress to hear about the results of our research.

The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce celebrating with children and families

Photo: Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce celebrating with children and families at the launch of our First 1000 Days Partnership at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in November 2015. Credit: Miguel Rios

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