Prof. Sharon Goldfeld

Deputy Director, Centre for Community Child Health

Professor Sharon Goldfeld is a paediatrician and Deputy Director, Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH) the Royal Children’s Hospital and Co-Group leader of Child Health Policy and Equity at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She has a decade of experience in state government as a senior policymaker in health and education including Principal Medical Advisor in the Victorian Department of Education and Training. Her research program is made up of complementary, synergistic and cross-disciplinary streams of work focused on investigating, testing and translating sustainable policy relevant solutions that eliminate inequities for Australia’s children. As an experienced policymaker, public health and paediatric researcher she aims to ensure ongoing effective, rapid translation of research into the policy and service arena.

Childhood Summit 2019 Keynote - Community -

Day 2 Morning - Keynote - Foundational Community Factors for Early Childhood Development: what is it about where you live that makes a difference for children?

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Keynote Synopsis

Foundational Community Factors for Early Childhood Development: what is it about where you live that makes a difference for children?

The international research is clear. Stimulating and positive environments early in life provide optimal foundations for children’s ongoing development into adulthood; making a difference to the productivity of society at large. Communities are important environments in which young children grow and develop, yet there is limited research on how communities can best influence early childhood development. 

The Kids in Communities Study (KiCS) set out to investigate the potential influence of community-level factors in five domains on early childhood development. These domains are the physical environment, social environment, socio-economic factors, access to services, and governance. 

From this work, KiCS identified a promising set of Foundational Community Factors associated with early childhood development:  those factors that lay the foundations of a good community for early childhood development. 

Foundational community factors can help better understand what facilitates or hinders early childhood development at the community level. They provide a source of local information that can contribute to developing interventions that move beyond the individual-level, which have shown limited sustained success, to the broader community-level (e.g. place-based initiatives) which has the potential to benefit many children and families in the long-term.


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