Communities for Children Facilitating Partners Evidence-based programme profiles

Abecedarian Approach Australia (3a)


Abecedarian Approach Australia (3a)

Target audience

Infants (0-2 years)
Early childhood (3-5 years)
At-risk or vulnerable

CfC Objective

Healthy Young Families
Early Learning and Care
School Transition and Engagement


Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

Delivery Setting



The program is a combination of teaching and learning strategies for use in early childhood settings and parenting programs designed to enhance children’s cognitive, emotional and communication outcomes and readiness for school.

Delivered to

Children 0- 5 years of age, especially for young children at risk

Delivered by

early childhood professionals – including, for example, early childhood educators, intervention workers, family support facilitators and maternal and child health nurses.

Program Structure

Program comprises four elements:

  • Learning games®
  • Conversational reading
  • Language priority
  • Enriched care-giving
  • Practitioner: 3 days
  • Affiliate trainer: 3 days Practitioner + 1 day trainer add-on
  • Coach: 3 days Practitioner + 1 day coach add-on

For training options and dates, see:

  • Practitioner training: $1650
  • Affiliate training: $660
  • 3a coach: $660

LearningGames® materials


Email: Jane Page,

Evaluation and effectiveness

A RCT was undertaken in North Carolina, USA 1972-1977 with a sample of children from vulnerable or disadvantaged families. Children in this study have been followed into adulthood. Outcomes of the program included: higher cognitive test scores than control group; higher academic achievement; enhanced language development. Mothers whose children participated in the program achieved higher educational and employment status. The disadvantaged children who attended the program for the first 5 years of life had better health at 35 years of age. Current research underway in Australia and Canada.

Campbell, F. A., Conti, G., Heckman, J. J., Moon, S., & Pinto, R. (2014). Early Childhood Program Improves Adult Health. Science, 343(6178), 1478-1485.
Campbell, F., Pungello, E., Burchinal, M., et al. (2012). Adult outcomes as a function of an early childhood educational program: an abecedarian project follow-up. Developmental Psychology, 48(4), 1033-1043.
More references available here: