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Parents often share many of the same challenges when raising their child. First Five Years gives parents the expert advice, insights, support and tools they need to make the most of the first years of their child’s life.

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Little girl sleeping in her mother's arms

7 tips for those tough parenting days

Some days are tough. Being a parent stretches us. We wish we could hand the children over to grandma (or kindy) and hide under the blanket watching Netflix. Popular parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson looks at ways to handle those difficult parenting days.

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Snapshot of Australian Families

Emotions

Parent’s emotions are quite a contrast. The two words parents felt best described family life over the previous three months were happy 49% (↓ from 54%) and stressed 39% (↑ from 36%).

Meals

31.8% of families only eat breakfast together on weekends. However 11% (↓ from 12%) of families never eat breakfast together.

Family Time

48% (↓ from 53%) of parents believe they spend less time with their children than their parents spent with them.

Expenses

39% (↓ from 40%) of parents have struggled to meet essential expenses like food, mortgage/rent, utility bills, child care or important medical care over the past 12 months.

Father and son fishing with fishing net in river
The way parents give children structure and feedback about their behaviour and having a warm and responsive parent-child relationship is something that has been shown to strengthen the executive functions that support patience developing in children.
Professor David Hawes

How to teach your child patience

None of us are born with patience, instead children learn how to self-regulate by the structures and support parents provide. Professor of Clinical Psychology David Hawes discusses what to expect from children and why, and how to teach patience.

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Tired mother with baby

Sleep problems aren’t just for babies

Poor sleep can affect a person’s quality of life, so what does this mean for parents who are regularly up at night? Dr Bei Bei, a senior lecturer and clinical psychologist looks at the consequences of poor sleep for parents and how to get better sleep.

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Young family spending time together outdoors

Is there a right and wrong way to parent?

Research shows parenting style can impact a child’s self-esteem, social skills and ability to self-regulate and cope. The question is: Can the way you raise your children set them up to thrive in the world? Researchers think the answer is yes.

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Dad holding crying colic baby

What is colic? Soothing a 'colicky' baby

Colic is not a disease or diagnosis but a combination of baffling behaviors. Newborns experience substantial nervous system development in the first 12 weeks which can result in unsettled behaviour. So what are the theories and what can parents do?

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Gardens teach children lifelong skills

Whether the garden is part of the backyard, a few pots on a balcony or part of a community garden, the benefits of gardening in the preschool years are more than just about playing with dirt. They include opportunities for maths, science, art and play.

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Children playing at an Early Learning Centre

A better start for Australian children

Children are starting school developmentally vulnerable and parents are scrambling for work/life balance. The Starting Better report by the The Centre for Policy and Development outlines a 10-year plan to ensure all children have what they need to thrive.

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Young children playing

Gender identity: How to talk to children

Society has traditionally told us how girls and boys should speak, look, dress and act, however children are growing up in a world in which they are being encouraged not to be limited by gender. So how can we talk to preschoolers about gender identity?

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Sing-Song Voice

Is your child making lots of sounds? Talk back to your child by repeating his/her sounds or describing what you are doing, using a sing-song voice. Does your child respond by kicking his/her feet, waving his/her arms or making more sounds? Together, you are telling your own story!

Children’s brains are wired to hear you talk in a sing-song voice. When you talk slowly and stretch the sounds out in a musical way, their eyes light up and their heart rates increase. Toddlers who hear sing-song voices smile more often—proof that YOU are making connections and building a brain!

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Vroom uses the science of early learning to help your child thrive with bite-sized activities that support brain growth.