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Great to Eight


Children thrive when their needs are met by supported families, carers and communities.

We know that the early years (0-8) are a time of tremendous growth and development for children. We also know there are both risk factors and protective factors that affect how a child develops, and that these can be influenced to give a child the best chances in life.

One in five of Australia’s children starts school developmentally vulnerable in one or more areas1. And without intervention, these children may continue to fall behind.

Over nearly ten years, the percentage of children starting behind has improved by less than 2%. We want the next ten years to be different.

We want every child to start school ready to learn and engage. Where they face challenges, we want to make sure they get the support they need to catch up.

The Great to Eight research agenda will help funders make wise investments, and help researchers ensure their programs of work are relevant and make a unique contribution. If you haven't already done so, please register now.


[1] Australian Early Development Census, 2018


Broad, Deep or Both?

An ambitious project like the Great to Eight Research Agenda needs to grapple with many tensions and potentially opposing issues. One that we’ve been pondering lately is how to leverage both the deep specialised knowledge of experts, and encourage collaboration and creative partnerships.

July update 2 : Early Years Summit and National Community Recovery Summit

In March this year, 500 participants from health, community services, education, research, philanthropy, and practitioners from the early years sector attended the two day National Early Years Summit, convened by ARACY and our partners, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Goodstart Early Learning, Parent-Infant Research Institute, Children’s Healthcare Australasia and Families Australia.

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Extended Idea Wall


As Great to Eight develops, we’ll be using ARACY's Engagement Hub to seek feedback on different aspects of the project. You can offer feedback via with Great to Eight in the email subject, or by using the Ideas Wall.