Brain Story Toolbox

A child’s development from conception to the age of four is a critical period in forming the foundations for lifetime learning, health and behaviour. These early experiences are what impact brain architecture and form the “Brain Story”.

Below are some helpful tools that have been specially created to share the importance of the Brain Story.

Molly’s TED Talk

“What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?” asks seven-year-old Molly Wright, one of the youngest-ever TED speakers. Breaking down the research-backed ways parents and caregivers can support children’s healthy brain development, Wright highlights the benefits of play on lifelong learning, behavior and well-being, sharing effective strategies to help all kids thrive by the age of five. She’s joined onstage by one-year-old Ari and his dad, Amarjot, who help illustrate her big ideas about brain science. (This TED Talk was produced in collaboration with Minderoo Foundation as an educational tool for parents and caregivers around the world and is supported by UNICEF.)

Bright Tomorrows Start Today

A baby’s brain is a remarkable little creature forming more than a million neural connections every second when activated. Babies learn through spending time with their parents and other special people in their life. We’ve created Bobbie to show us all the emotions, thoughts and responses that happen in a child’s brain when a baby experiences meaningful moments. These meaningful moments, especially if they occur early in a child’s life and often, build strong brains, providing a strong foundation for their life.


Get the information you need from the latest reports, papers and projects.

Early Years Partnership Logic Model

The Logic Model is built on ‘If-Then’ relationships.
If you have certain resources, then you will be able to provide activities, produce services or products for targeted individuals or groups. If you reach those individuals or groups, then they will benefit in certain specific ways in the short term. If the short-term benefits are achieved to the extent expected, then the medium-term benefits can be accomplished. If the medium-term benefits for participants/organizations/decision-makers are achieved to the extent expected, then you would expect the longer-term improvements and final impact in terms of social, economic, environmental, or civic changes to occur.

Early Years Partnership Theory of Change

The Theory of Change is a description of how and why a desired change is expected to happen given a set of parameters.

Early Years Partnership Impact Pathway

The Early Years Partnership (EYP) Impact Pathways is a tool that aims to support communities to identify the main enablers and barriers to children and families thriving in their communities, co-design agreed and targeted community plans and test, trial and learn from evidence-based solutions.

Community Navigators – Evidence Report

Telethon Kids Institute has been asked to provide an Evidence Report on community navigators, in anticipation that Early Years Initiative partner communities may wish to use them to support their Community Plans. 

This Report gives an overview of the range of navigator programs and looks at the evidence for effective community-based, lay navigator programs. Factors communities should consider when contemplating establishing a navigator program are also explored. 

November 2020. 

Governance and Place-based Initiatives

The first steps, paper by Dr. Jan Lewis.

Background Evidence Paper – Early Years Initiative

Produced by Telethon Kids Institute and Minderoo Foundation, through the CoLab collaboration partnership (October, 2020).

Colab Policy Paper Series: Paper 5 A vision for an integrated early childhood system in Western Australia

This fifth paper in the CoLab Policy Paper Series unpacks the above vision of how an early childhood service system for Western Australia could look and outlines what is involved. It has been written to stimulate discussion amongst early childhood practitioners and policy makers in Western Australia and beyond, beyond, and is especially pertinent at this time of unprecedented upheaval associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Australia can invest in children and return more – A new look at the $15b cost of late action – full report

How Australia can invest in children and return more is a project undertaken by a partnership between CoLab – Collaborate for Kids (a partnership between Telethon Kids Institute and the Minderoo Foundation), The Front Project, the UK’s Early Intervention Foundation, and Woodside Energy.


How Australia can invest in children and return more – A new look at the $15bn cost of late action – summary report

This summary report presents the opportunity for wise investments in evidence-based early intervention to radically change outcomes for Australian children and young people. 

Colab Policy Paper Series: Paper 4 What the Research Says: Improving Development and Learning Among Western Australian Children

Research has been clear in describing what parents, families and communities do that enhance child development. Further, it has described key principles that should underpin early childhood services – access, reach and coordination – and providing an approach to structuring the service system with the concept of proportionate universalism. 

What it has not done is describe in detail what an ‘evidence informed’ early childhood system for Western Australia would be like. To do this, researchers need to work with policymakers and practitioners to synthesise the contextual factors described in earlier papers of this series with the research described in this paper. 

Colab Policy Paper Series: Paper 3 Early Childhood Services in Western Australia: What are the issues?

The key issues which emerge from our considerations of the current state of early childhood services and the broader service system in Western Australia are:

  • Good quality services exist and are generally available to those families who need them;
  • Too few of the families needing these services access them; 
  • The coordination of early years services needs improvement; 
  • There is no ‘system’ to monitor every 0-4 child and ensure all families who need help are offered access to the services and community programs that can assist them; 
  • The effectiveness of services in low-income (including rural and remote) communities require further investigation.
  • The impact is that too many families with young children are both vulnerable and not accessing the services they need. 

Colab Policy Paper Series: Paper 2 How Are Our Children Doing? The Developmental Status of WA’s Children

In the second paper in the series we look at the development and learning status of Western Australia’s children.
What is the development and learning status of Western Australia’s children? How many of our children are developmentally vulnerable? Understanding this is a necessary starting point for analysing and devel-oping current policy and practice. While information on childhood health, development and learning is readily available, it is not often collated and summarised. Here we offer highlights and snapshots, to make the necessary key points.

Rapid Cycle Evaluation: Evidence Paper, Making the best of your early years service system 

This evidence paper is a collation of the evidence base underpinning the EYSIT Guide which has been written for communities involved in the Early Years Initiative (EYI). This evidence paper describes an approach to rapid cycle evaluation suggested for EYI communities.

Produced by Telethon Kids Institute and Minderoo Foundation, through the CoLab collaboration partnership (November, 2018)

Colab Policy Paper Series: Paper 1 The Early Years in Western Australia: The Last 50 Years

In this paper we examine what has been achieved in the early years in Western Australia over the past 50 years. 

While it is vital to continue to keep an eye to the future and to challenge ourselves to do better in childhood wellbeing and development, it is also important to take stock and look back to national and state achievements, acknowledging the many past successes resulting from the combined efforts of people, organisations and governments across the communities of our state. 


Subscribe to the quarterly EYP newsletter

Child's face

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet, work and live, and recognise their continuing connection and care to land, water and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.