Birth Choices: interactive for parents-to-be

Every day thousands of parents-to-be grapple with decisions about how and where they’d like to welcome their child into the world. Raising Children Network has developed a new Australian-first interactive resource called Birth Choices.

Accessible from a smartphone, tablet or computer, Birth Choices helps expectant parents make their own informed, confident decisions about their preferred birth setting and care options. Developed in consultation with experts in midwifery, obstetrics, parenting and counselling, this resource guides you through what to expect in each type of birth setting - public hospital, private hospital, birth centre or at home - as well as the different carers involved during pregnancy, birth and after the baby is born.

View the interactive Birth Choices

Childhood trauma

We have just released a new report on the evidence of prevention and treatment of childhood trauma: Approaches targeting outcomes for children exposed to trauma arising from abuse and neglect. The report summarises the international evidence base for approaches to supporting children who are exposed to trauma associated with child abuse and neglect. It also explores implications for Australian policy makers, services and professionals aiming to meet the needs of these children.

The report was written in collaboration with the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and funded by the Australian Government.

Read more about the findings in the full report in our resources section.

PRC report to Productivity Commission makes recommendations on early childhood learning

The Parenting Research Centre has made recommendations to the Australian Government Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning. Our recommendations focus on improvements to parenting support, advising that outcomes for children could be significantly improved by an early childhood sector that also extends a positive influence to the early home learning environment and engages and supports parents more effectively.

Our Early Home Learning Study has helped inform these recommendations. This study investigated ways of improving the early home learning environment through collaborations with early childhood services in Victoria. Recommendations were also influenced by our recent analysis of the impact of poor quality jobs on parent mental health and child outcomes and the implications for parent support, based on research data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children research project.

The submission focuses on the potential of early childhood education and care services to optimise children’s early learning and development – in particular, looking at ways to improve outcomes for children vulnerable to poor developmental outcomes.

Six broad recommendations have been made to the Inquiry:

  1. Build capacity for parenting and parent support to families and children who are vulnerable to poor developmental outcomes.
  2. Develop worker skills in engaging parents.
  3. Increase the positive impact of services on the home learning environment with strategies such as modelling and coaching.
  4. Embed online information supports into early childhood services.
  5. Increase workplace flexibility, decrease workplace stress, support employers to have positive and constructive conversations with employees about work-family balance, plus provide access to affordable high quality childcare.
  6. Access 'parent voices’ on early childhood services through Raising Children Network ( parent forums.

Read more about the submission and our recommendations in our resources section.