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‘I just want her to be happy at school…’

At the heart of much of the recent COAG early childhood development strategy is the aim of promoting the best possible start in life for all Australian children. As well as promoting health and developmental outcomes, the strategy aims to promote a positive transition to school for all children. The rationale behind such an aim is usually related to the potential of education to disrupt cycles of disadvantage, hence improving the life experiences and expectations of children and their families. This is indeed an admirable aim. However, achieving a positive start to school can be a complex process, particularly if the children and families involved are considered to be disadvantaged or vulnerable.

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