Table 3

Summary of methodologies and sample population

MethodPurposeDomainsTarget sampleParticipants
Policy analysisPolicy analysis is particularly important for the governance domain. Policy documents and grey literature (identified from discussions with partners, and internet searches) will be analysed to understand more about the governance processes that may influence early childhood outcomesGovernance120 policy documents (ie, ∼10–12 per AEDC community)Not applicable
Stakeholder interviewThe purpose of the semistructured stakeholder interviews is to obtain an in-depth understanding of governance structures and coordination mechanismsGovernance and service150 stakeholder interviews (ie, ∼10–15 per AEDC community)Individuals with a leadership role in the community and/or have significant local knowledge and contacts
Parent focus groupThe parent focus group/s aim to obtain a better understanding of parents' views about their communityGovernance, service, physical, social, socioeconomic25 parent focus groups (ie, 1 per AEDC local community)Parents of young children 0–8 years old
Practitioner focus groupThe practitioner (service provider) focus groups will provide an in-depth perspective of the five community domains from local community professionalsGovernance, service, physical, social, socioeconomic25 practitioner focus groups (ie, 1 per AEDC local community)Service providers
Service surveyThe purpose of the service survey is to understand more about local service networks and service coordinationService1 per service type in each AEDC local communityService providers of early years services
Service informationService information on service quantity, access and quality is obtained through existing data and service providersServiceCollected on all ECD services within each AEDC local communityService providers of years services
Community surveyThe community survey aims to collect data on local resident views about what their community is like to live inGovernance, service, physical, social, socioeconomic25 000 surveys (ie, 10 000 per AEDC local community) will be distributed to a random sample of residents. A 35% response rate is required.General community residents (not necessarily parents of young children)
GIS and park auditUsing GIS allows objective assessment of the physical structure (urban design layout) of the local community; including its physical layout and access (proximity and quantity) to services and destinationsPhysical25 AEDC local communities. All parks within each local community will be measured for park ‘quality’.Not applicable
Community demographics and dataWhere possible, existing data on the community will be sourced. For example, community demographics are sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011 Census dataSocioeconomic25 AEDC local communitiesNot applicable
  • Local communities and communities (local government areas) as defined by the AEDC.

  • AEDC, Australian Early Development Census; ECD, early child development; GIS, Geographic Information Systems.