Early Childhood Development Services Review

Angela Lawless, Catherine Hurley, Kate Biedrzycki

In 2006 the South Australian Community Health Research Unit (SACHRU) was commissioned to conduct a project examining Early Childhood Development (ECD) services in the Southern Adelaide Health Service (SAHS) region with a focus on services provided by Southern Primary Health: Noarlunga, Seaford/Aldinga, Woodcroft and the Inner Southern service. Recent moves to regionalise services had highlighted the variation in ECD programs, eligibility, staffing, intake and service models across the four sites.

The stated aim of the project was to: “review early childhood development services across SAHS with emphasis on the community based service models and referral pathways through to acute services with the aim of recommending locations and allocation of existing resources across the SAHS region to address need, demand and obtain optimal outcomes.”

Interviews and focus groups were undertaken with practitioners, managers and other stakeholders in ECD services and a project officer conducted telephone interviews with consumers that SACHRU staff analysed and included in the report. A literature scan on the evidence for early childhood intervention models was also conducted. The final report for this project was forwarded to SAHS in September 2007.