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Let’s Start: Exploring Together. An early intervention program for Northern Territory children and families – Final evaluation report

The Let’s Start project was a trial to implement the Exploring Together Preschool Program (ETPP) in the Northern Territory (NT) for Indigenous and other parents and children. Children from four to six years old whose behaviour was a concern were referred to Let’s Start by teachers or other practitioners or by family members themselves. The ETPP was adapted to facilitate engagement of Indigenous parents and children in three main intervention elements:

1. Parents and children guided in a program of constructive interaction.

2. Parents confidentially discussing strategies for managing their children’s behaviour and conflicts and stresses within their families.

3. Children helped to develop social skills through facilitated play.

Program Outcomes: In general, both quantitative and qualitative analyses of responses to the program were positive, some strongly positive. These included statistically significant reductions in problem and risk behaviour among participating children.

The evidence supports the conclusion that a further extension of services such as those provided by the Let’s Start ETPP is justified, based on levels of participation generated to date, needs expressed by parents and practitioners, and positive program outcomes.