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Mobile Preschool Evaluation: Summary report

The Mobile Preschool Evaluation is a cohort comparison study of an alternative preschool service delivery model (Mobile Preschool Program) provided by the Northern Territory Department of Education. The findings from the National Health and Medical Research Council funded Mobile Preschool Study provide some of the first systematic data of their kind regarding implementation and efficacy of preschool programs for Indigenous children living in very remote Northern Territory communities, where there are currently few early childhood services. The study includes 28 randomly selected NT communities from seven service delivery clusters for both the intervention and control groups. The three-year study was designed to evaluate the extent to which children's participation in the innovative Mobile Preschool Program, developed by the Northern Territory Department of Education, would improve school readiness outcomes in comparison with children who did not participate in the program or who had had limited exposure to it. The Mobile Preschool Program was piloted in 2000-5 under the Australian Government's National Indigenous Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 17 (NIELNS). Pilot program sites were adopted for core funding in 2005 and then expanded under Closing-the-Gap funding in 2008. The study specifically aimed to quantify the impact of program availability, attendance and quality had on follow-up measures of developmental health and school readiness using the Australian Early Development Index. (author abstract)
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