Community Child Health Group

  • Group Lead

    Professor Sharon Goldfeld
    T: +61 3 9345 6408
    E: sharon.goldfeld@rch.org.au
    Location: Centre for Community Child Health, Level 2 East, Rm 2.308, The Royal Children's Hospital, 50 Flemington Road, Parkville
    W: Personal web page

Research Overview

Under the campus partnership, our research is embedded in MCRI with strong links to RCH.  Full research profile may be found here: Policy Equity and Translation and Centre for Community Child Health.

Around 1 in 5 children are arriving at Australian Primary schools developmentally vulnerable. This means that around 20% of Australia’s children have not had the experiences or environments they need for healthy development. While this statistic is concerning, we are optimistic that outcomes for children, families and communities can be improved.

Our research group undertakes, synthesises and translates research so that it can inform policy, service delivery, professional practice and parenting. We conduct discovery and applied research, undertake consultancies for governments and non-government agencies, and provide evidence-informed advice to governments and community agencies.

Current projects are focused on:

Changing Children's Chances (CCC)

  • Changing children's chances through reducing early developmental inequities in Australian children.
  • Developing an evidence-based framework for informing effective policy responses (policy interventions) that can potentially reduce child health and developmental inequalities.

Kids In Communities Study (KiCS)

  • Understanding how different factors in our communities—physical environment, social environment, socio-economic factors, access to services, and governance—influence the way that children develop and specifically, what factors are amenable to change and improve child health outcomes.

Classroom Promotion of Oral Language (CPOL)

  • Determining whether a specifically designed teacher professional learning intervention focused on a whole-of-class approach to promoting oral language can lead to improved outcomes in oral language, literacy development and mental health for early years' primary school students.

Staff

Collaborators

Changing Children’s Chances brings together leading equity researchers with policy experts:

The University of Melbourne

  • Professor Sharon Goldfeld, Department of Paediatrics
  • Professor Katrina Williams, Department of Paediatrics
  • Professor Gary Freed, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Flinders University

  • Associate Professor Gerry Redmond, School of Social & Policy Studies

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

  • Professor Frank Oberklaid, Centre for Community Child Health
  • Dr Fiona Mensah, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit

Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and The University of New South Wales

  • Dr Sue Woolfenden, Department of Community Child Health

University of Otago

  • Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Department of Public Health

Australian Department of Education and Training

  • Dr Jianfei Gong

Victorian Department of Education and Training

  • Dr Jenny Proimos

Brotherhood of St. Laurence

  • Dr Eric Dommers

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

  • Dr Hannah Badland, Centre for Urban Research

Kids In Communities Study brings together investigators and partner organisations from around Australia and internationally:

Chief investigators:

  • Prof Sharon Goldfeld (Lead Chief Investigator), University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics, Royal Children’s Hospital, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
  • Prof Billie Giles-Corti, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • Prof Robert Tanton, NATSEM, University of Canberra
  • A/Prof Sally Brinkman, University of Western Australia Centre for Child
  • Prof Ilan Katz, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales
  • A/Prof Geoff Woolcock, University of Southern Queensland

Federal and state government partner organisations:

  • Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • Australian Capital Territory Community Services Directorate
  • Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service
  • South Australia Department for Education and Child Development
  • New South Wales Department of Education and Communities
  • Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment
  • New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services

Non-government partner organisations:

  • The Smith Family
  • Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
  • Wesley Mission Brisbane
  • The Benevolent Society
  • Uniting Care

Other collaborating organisations:

  • University of British Columbia (Canada)
  • Mount Saint Vincent University (Canada)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (USA)

Classroom Promotion of Oral Language (CPOL) brings together a team of experienced investigators from health and education disciplines through a unique collaboration between the institutions listed below.

The University of Melbourne

  • Associate Professor John Munro
  • Associate Professor Patricia Eadie
  • Professor Sharon Goldfeld

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

  • Professor Frank Oberklaid
  • Dr Katherine Lee

Deakin University

  • Associate Professor Lisa Gold

La Trobe University

  • Professor Pamela Snow

The Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute

  • Dr Tony Barnett
  • Dr Liza Hopkins

Catholic Education Commission of Victoria

  • Judy Connell
  • Brenda Andersen-Dalheim

Victorian Government Department of Education and Training

  • Phoebe Jakober
  • Mark Fields

Funding

Changing Children's Chances

Changing Children’s Chances is funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Program (DP160101735, 2016-2018).

Kids In Communities Study (KiCS)

The KiCS project is funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP130100411), along with generous support from our partner funders: The Australian Government Department of Education and Training, the Australian Capital Territory Community Services Directorate, Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, the South Australia Department for Education and Child Development, the Victorian Department of Education and Training, the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities, New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services, The Benevolent Society, Uniting Care, and the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment. The development of draft community-level indicators is being funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Generous in-kind support for KiCS has been provided by:

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Capital Territory Community Services Directorate, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities, Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, the South Australia Department for Education and Child Development, The Smith Family, the Victorian Department of Education and Training, Wesley Mission Brisbane, The Benevolent Society, Uniting Care, Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment, University of California, Los Angeles.

Classroom Promotion of Oral Language (CPOL)

CPOL is funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant: 'Improving children's language, literacy and mental health: Evaluating the impact of the Classroom Promotion of Oral Language (CPOL) approach' (LP130100308) and The Ian Potter Foundation.

Research Publications

KiCS Publications:

Information sheet: About the KiCS Study can be found here.

Final report of the KiCS pilot study (2010) can be found here.

  • Goldfeld, S., G. Woolcock, I. Katz, R. Tanton, S. Brinkman, E. O’Connor, T. Mathews and B. Giles-Corti (2015). "Neighbourhood Effects Influencing Early Childhood Development: Conceptual Model and Trial Measurement Methodologies from the Kids in Communities Study." Social Indicators Research 120(1): 197-212.
  • Tanton, R., M. Dare, S. Brinkman, B.-G. Corti, I. Katz, G. Woolcock and S. Goldfeld (2015). "Identifying off-diagonal communities using the Australian Early Development Census results." Social Indicators Research: 1-16.
  • Goldfeld, S., K. Villanueva, R. Tanton, I. Katz, S. Brinkman, G. Woolcock and B. Giles-Corti (2017). "Kids in Communities Study (KiCS) study protocol: a cross-sectional mixed-methods approach to measuring community-level factors influencing early child development in Australia." BMJ Open 7(3).
  • Goldfeld, S. and K. Villanueva (2017). "The Kids in Communities Study: what is it about where you live that makes a difference to children's development?" Early Childhood Matters: Moving towards scale: advancing early childhood development (126): 100.

CPOL Publications:

  • Stark, H.L., Snow, P.C., Eadie, P., and Goldfeld, S. (2016). "Language and reading instruction in early years' classrooms: the knowledge and self-rated ability of Australian teachers". Annals of Dyslexia, 66 (1): 228-254.
  • Goldfeld, S., Snow, P.C., Eadie, P., Munro, J., Gold, L., Le, H., Orsini, F., Shingles, B. Lee, K., Connell, J., and Watts, A. "Classroom Promotion of Oral Language (CPOL): Protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of a school-based intervention to improve children's literacy outcomes at Grade 3, oral language and mental health". BMJ Open (accepted July 2017).

Research Projects



Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor Sharon Goldfeld

Department / Centre

Paediatrics

Unit / Centre

Community Child Health Group