Vulnerable children strive to overcome disadvantages
New research has revealed one in four of the nation’s most developmentally vulnerable children are overcoming their disadvantages by using their ability to draw on other strengths.
The Multiple Strengths Indicator analysis looks at the strengths Australian children have developed when they start school.
They look at language and cognitive skills, physical health and wellbeing, social competence and emotional maturity.
Of 60,000 children identified as being developmentally vulnerable in Australia, one in four have well or highly developed strengths in one or more other areas.
Goodstart Early Learning capability and early learning strategy general manager Heather Finlayson said the research supported current practices in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector.
She said educators tapped into children’s interests and capabilities as a launch pad for building skills, knowledge and attitudes essential for success.
“If we can understand a child’s individual strengths (as well as their vulnerabilities) we can then genuinely set them up for successful lifelong learning,” Ms Finlayson said.
“It’s about encouraging children to have a growth mindset, building their positive self-esteem and other important attributes such as perseverance and resilience.”
The Gap Taskforce on Early Childhood Education reveals one in five Australian children are developmentally vulnerable, with Indigenous children twice as likely to be vulnerable.
The study found influencing brain development early on is the most effective way to positively impact later education and life outcomes.