Does an integrated, wrap-around school and community service model in an early learning setting improve academic outcomes for children from low socioeconomic backgrounds?

Shannon Newman, June McLoughlin, Helen Skouteris, Claire Blewitt, Edward Melhuish, Cate Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Many children start school developmentally vulnerable and struggle to keep up with their peers. Children experiencing socioeconomic-disadvantage are at higher risk of poor developmental outcomes. A high-quality education and wrap-around community-service model, such as the Doveton Model, at Doveton College, Australia, may improve outcomes for families experiencing entrenched disadvantage. This study focussed on the effect of this model on early-learning (pre-formal schooling) for school entry readiness and academic achievement over the subsequent four years. Students who did/did not attend the Doveton Model Early-Learning-Centre were compared using standard reading, oral-language, writing and numeracy tests from school-entry to Year 3. There was a trend towards higher academic achievement for students who attended Doveton early-learning compared to students who had not. Many tests showed statistically significant differences, despite low sample sizes. This study provides preliminary evidence that attending early-learning within a high-quality, wrap-around service model may have significant academic benefits for disadvantaged children.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Aug 2020


  • academic outcomes
  • child development
  • children
  • disadvantage
  • Early learning
  • pre-school education

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