Welcome to Framing Child Development and Care in Australia—a collection of framing research, recommendations, and sample communications.
This toolkit is designed to help leading voices in the child development and care sector increase public understanding of
- the importance of government efforts in ensuring the long-term wellbeing of children as healthy citizens and productive workers;
- the challenges Australia faces in ensuring positive development outcomes for all of our children;
- how early child development and child mental health happen; and
- the relationship between early child development and quality child care programs, policies, and centres.
This toolkit was sponsored by the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children’s Hospital and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia with the support of The Benevolent Society, Berry Street, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Victoria), the Department of Education (Australia), Early Childhood Australia, Goodstart Early Learning, Mission Australia, the Parenting Research Centre, The Smith Family and UNICEF Australia. It is designed to help communicators in the field to translate the science of early childhood development and mental health in the Australian context, in order to increase support for evidence-based programs and policies designed to improve child and social outcomes in Australia.
The toolkit models how to use the FrameWorks Institute’s evidence-based recommendations for communicating with average Australians about these issues in ways that build public understanding and support.
The kit’s materials include:
- sample “ready to go” communications that can be used as is or adapted and repurposed for your organisation’s needs;
- communications examples that demonstrate the “do’s and don’ts” of the framing recommendations;
- graphics that model the key concepts of the recommendations;
- annotations that explain the framing strategies being illustrated.
For 15 years, FrameWorks Institute research has demonstrated that effective communications can help activate the public’s engagement with complex social issues—such as the child development programming and policies necessary to help all children achieve good development outcomes. This toolkit is based on the findings of ten years of international empirical communications research on how to effectively translate early childhood development, in addition to two years of multi-method social science research in the Australian context. The Australian-based research queried the thinking of more than 4,500 Australians and included expert interviews, literature reviews, peer discourse sessions, on-the-street interviews, large-scale surveys and usability trials. For more on the evidence base that informs the recommendations in this toolkit, visit our website.
What is Strategic Framing?
Video: Framing with Values
This video summarises FrameWorks’ findings on which Values proved most effective in building support for policy measures related to child development and care.
Key Framing Guides
Useful guides to keep communicators on frame.
Video: On-the-Street Video Interviews
See what Australian’s default assumptions looked like in our On the Street Interviews.
Video: Amplifier Explanatory Metaphor
See how the Amplifier Explanatory Metaphor helped Australians reason about issues of early childhood development and child care in more productive ways.
These materials model how to apply the tested frame elements to current news or calendar events. They can be used as templates or taken as ready-to-go communications pieces, adapted to local contexts (by adding, for example, local references or site-specific information) or restructured for a variety of media (for instance, by repurposing an editorial as a blog post or public remarks).
Animations make it easier to apply tested frame elements to your communications and presentations.
Metaphor Visualization 1 (Building Better Brains)
This short explanatory animation tells the core story of child development, using explanatory Metaphors to make complex concepts easy for the general public to understand and remember.
Metaphor Visualization 2 (Levelness)
This short animation explains how children’s mental health must be level—just like a table—in order to support their ability to function well in their daily lives.
Metaphor Visualization 3 (Ropes)
This short animation explains how children’s development of cognitive, social, and emotional skills relies on interdependent processes, similar to the way many strands form a rope.
Metaphor Visualization 4 (Scale)
This short animation explains how child development is like a scale, whose outcome can be assisted by piling up positive factors that contribute to healthy outcomes and offloading negative ones.