Our aims & approaches
MELC aims to improve early learning outcomes for children aged 0-5 growing up in poverty.
This is because evidence shows that early childhood is a critical time for the development of later life outcomes: positive experiences early in life are closely associated with better performance at school, better social and emotional development, improved work outcomes, higher income and better lifelong health, including longer life expectancy.
MELC is a place-based, systems change initiative, meaning the project seeks to stimulate impactful and sustainable improvements across the local early years community over a period of several years. It does this by bringing together a wide range of stakeholders, including families, services and organisations, to share knowledge, collaborate and innovate to improve outcomes for children. MELC is currently in the final phase of full-scale project delivery, with our current funding due to end in December 2026.
Our areas of focus
MELC’s work is primarily focused across two broad workstreams, which have been identified over the first phase of the project as clearly linked to poor early learning outcomes for local children growing up in poverty:
1. Confident parenting –parents and carers are aware of and engaging with existing support, including support focused on children’s early learning and any additional needs
2. Family mental health and wellbeing – both children and their parents/carers have access to support relating to their mental health and wellbeing
While we know there are a range of other barriers to learning affecting young children in the community, by narrowing MELC’s focus we hope to better support the local early years community to collaborate on and learn more deeply about how best to address these two priority areas.