At the Centre for Community Child Health, we want the best possible outcomes for children, families and communities. We know that the health and prosperity of our communities and our nation depends on the types of environments and experiences our children have in their early years, starting from conception. If we want children to be healthy, well and to develop the capabilities they will need to become participating, contributing adults, we need to invest wisely in these early years. Early investment is crucial, because it means we can prevent problems from occurring in the first place, or we can intervene early to stop problems becoming more entrenched and more difficult (and costly) to address.
Around 1 in 5 children are arriving at Australian primary schools developmentally vulnerable.
This means that around 20% of Australia’s children have not had the experiences or environments they need for healthy development. We know that those who start behind are at risk of staying behind, and are also at greater risk of having health, social and emotional problems in adulthood.
While this statistic is concerning, we are optimistic that outcomes for children, families and communities can be improved. We believe that:
- many conditions and common problems faced by children are preventable or can be improved if they are recognised and managed early
- the best results are achieved where professionals work in close partnership with parents who are supported and empowered to make the best choices for their children
- supporting and strengthening community-based professionals and organisations ensures the best chance of good outcomes for children and their families.
- academic institutions can play a major role in contributing to public policy, as well as facilitating integration and continuity between preventive and curative health care, and between hospitals and community-based services
- up-to-date research and evidence of what has shown to be effective and appropriate should inform policy formulation for children and families, the organisation of clinical services, professional practice with children and families, and community development
- we have a responsibility to determine which prevention and early detection/intervention approaches work for children and families, and to document their benefits and costs.
Established in 1994, the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children’s Hospital and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute provides leadership at community, state, national and international levels on the health and wellbeing of children aged 0 – 8 years. The Centre strives to:
- improve health and development outcomes for all Australian children
- advance equitable health and development outcomes for our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children
- promote positive early life conditions for children, in order to reduce the many later life problems that have their origins in early childhood.
We do this by:
- finding, synthesising and translating the best international evidence to inform policy, service delivery, professional practice and parenting
- designing robust service systems and platforms to catalyse and support innovation and change.
25th anniversary celebration
On Thursday 31 October 2019 our Centre celebrated its 25th anniversary with an event at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), Melbourne. Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) Director, Kathryn North, and Acting CEO of RCH, Jane Miller, were guest speakers. They both spoke of the Centre's contributions as a Department of the RCH and a research group of MCRI.
Our event guests were delighted by an inspiring keynote presentation from Ms Megan Mitchell, Australia’s first Children’s Human Rights Commissioner, and a panel session that gave a voice to our community and family partners.
Read more about the CCCH 25th anniversary event.
We have put together a short video and a report to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of the Centre and to highlight our 2020+ vision.