Development of evidence based practices for early childhood road safety education
Conclusive international evidence indicates that early childhood is a vital period in children's learning and development (DEECD, 2008). In recognition of this, in July 2009, the Council of Australian Governments agreed to a wide ranging package of reforms for early childhood, including Australia's first ever national Early Years Learning Framework (COAG, 2009). VicRoads, on behalf of the Road Safety Education Reference Group Australasia, contracted The Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC) at Edith Cowan University to develop National Practices for Early Childhood Road Safety Education - aligning with the Early Years Learning Framework. This paper presents the first nationally focused adaptation of the Early Years Learning Framework to the road safety research field. The development of the National Practices for Early Childhood Road Safety Education followed a three stage, formative research process. 1. A review of the literature relating to early childhood road related injury, road safety education and evidence-based pedagogy for teaching young children. 2. The development of draft practices. 3. Expert consultation with road safety and early childhood education experts, who were asked to validate the proposed national practices through a process of group consensus. The Practices will provide a contemporary and practical framework to guide early childhood educators and policy makers in designing and implementing evidence-based road safety education.