Boosting success for premmie children starting school

Ensuring children who were born premature are ready for school when the time comes is the focus of University of Queensland research.

Dr Tomomi McAuliffe from UQ’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences said many children born very preterm experienced significant difficulties when they started their education.

“Up to 50 per cent of children born before 32 weeks experience challenges in developing skills for successful school readiness,” Dr McAuliffe said.

“As these skills are important when transitioning to school, support for the unique needs of preterm children and their families is required.

“The information collected from this study will inform the development of an online intervention to promote successful transitions and readiness for school.”

The research team is looking for parents of children aged three to seven who were born before 32 weeks’ gestation to understand their needs and preferences for support for children and families during the transition to primary school.

The online questionnaire is open to parents across Australia to answer questions about their child’s development and behaviours, concerns, challenges and difficulties in regard to recent or upcoming transition to school, as well as preferences for information, intervention and support.

Parents living in Queensland are also invited to attend a small focus group to share their thoughts and experiences, and will be given a $20 gift card in return for their time.

The project is funded by UQ’s Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Research Collaboration Seeding Grant.

For more information and to register for the focus group discussion, please contact Dr Tomomi McAuliffe on +61 7 3365 2084 or t.mcauliffe@uq.edu.au.

To complete the survey visit: https://exp.psy.uq.edu.au/premstars/.

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