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Use of administrative record linkage to examine patterns of universal early childhood health and education service use from birth to Kindergarten (age four years) and developmental vulnerability in the Preparatory Year (age five years) in Tasmania, Australia

Citation

Taylor, CL and Christensen, D and Venn, AJ and Preen, DB and Stafford, J and Hansen, E and Jose, K and Zubrick, SR, Use of administrative record linkage to examine patterns of universal early childhood health and education service use from birth to Kindergarten (age four years) and developmental vulnerability in the Preparatory Year (age five years) in Tasmania, Australia, International Journal of Population Data Science, 6, (3) Article 3. ISSN 2399-4908 (2022) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

2022 The Authors. Open Access under CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en)

DOI: doi:10.23889/ijpds.v6i3.1681

Abstract

Background
In Australia, the health and education sectors provide universal early childhood services for the same population of children. Therefore, there is a strong imperative to view service use and outcomes through a cross-sectoral lens to better understand and address the service needs of young children and their families.


Objectives
To investigate patterns of health and education service use from birth through Kindergarten (age four years), the associations with cumulative risks, and developmental vulnerability in the first year of full-time school (age five years).


Methods
A retrospective cohort study that used population-wide linkage of health and education administrative data records for 5,440 children with a Tasmanian 2015 Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) record who were born in Tasmania (2008-2010).


Results
Four service use patterns were identified: Regular (46% of children), Declining (24%); Low (18%); and Selective service use (12%). Regular service use (aOR 0.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 0.9), adjusted for cumulative risks, was associated with decreased odds of developmental vulnerability, compared to the other service use groups. Low (OR 6.1, 95% CI 4.5 to 8.2) and Declining service use (OR 2.5 95% CI 1.9 to 3.4) were more likely for children with the highest levels of cumulative risks. Low and Declining service use, adjusted for cumulative risks were associated with increased odds of developmental vulnerability, compared to the Regular service use group.


Conclusion
This study provides a whole population view of the differential use of universal services and the complex risk circumstances that influence service use. The association between patterns of multiple risk and service use points to barriers to service use, and the varying level of developmental vulnerability within each service use group draws attention to children who may benefit from higher sustained participation in core health and education services across the whole of early childhood.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:child development, universal services, child health, education, cumulative risks
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Community child health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Neonatal and child health
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
UTAS Author:Hansen, E (Dr Emily Hansen)
UTAS Author:Jose, K (Dr Kim Jose)
ID Code:148593
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-01-25
Last Modified:2022-02-24
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