Educating professionals who will work with children in the early years: an evidence-informed interdisciplinary framework
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The first five years of a child’s life are irrefutably important, establishing life-long health, social and economic outcomes. To optimize these outcomes, global policy is directing professionals from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to work more collaboratively than ever before with children in the early years. Such collaborations have proven problematic as individual disciplines and pre-service education requirements vary widely. Using Community-Based Participatory Research and Diffusion of Innovation approaches, this study aimed to develop an educational framework for professionals working with children in the early years and their families, to begin a cultural change for interdisciplinary collaboration and participation across the early years. Systematic reviews, modified Delphi rounds and focus groups identified the diverse demands of multiple professions, qualification levels and workforce agendas, as well as highlighting shared outcomes, knowledge and intentions across disciplines.