2019 WINNER

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Aileen Ashford

CEO, Kids First Australia


Under Aileen's leadership, Kids First Early Years Education Program was designed to
ensure that at-risk and vulnerable children realise their potential and arrive at school
developmentally equal to peers. Over several years the program saw children receive
unprecedented levels of holistic care through Kids First. An Australian first randomised
control trial of the EYEP showed when compared to their peers, the participants have
made gains across their IQ, resilience and emotional development factors. Their
caregivers also had a reduced rate of stress compared to peers. The impact from this
program is profound as there is potential for the children's life trajectories to change
and the overall benefit-cost of the program will provide valuable evidence for not only
public policy but the design of universal early education programs.

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