We have received some funding to help us co-create, pilot and evaluate free open access research-based resources and supports from February 2020-February 2023 for:

  1. young children (2-8 years*) using a strengths-based, resilience-based approach to support their understanding and ability to cope with military family life or children of veterans and support their wellbeing,
  2. parents, to support young children within a defence (military) family
  3. family support workers and social workers to support young children within a defence (military) family, and
  4. educators, Defence School Mentors and REDLOs to support young children from defence families and assist their peers in developing understanding and empathy.

*We even have resources that use a multi-layered approach and can be used by children up to 12 years of age.

Please have a look at the resources that have been co-created with stakeholders. They are currently being evaluated by parents, educators, family and social workers, Defence School Mentors (DSM) and Education Development Liaison Officers (EDLO). If you would like to test drive our resources, click here.

Please have a look at the covers for our 12 free, research-based children’s books. Each book has free, downloadable educational activities (puzzles, puppets, board games, card games, matching and memory games, numeracy activities, sequencing/storytelling activities and sight words).

Our timeline

Why do we need resources?

Children from military families generally experience frequent and long separation from one of their parents due to training and deployment. They also move to different houses, towns and cities often. This can cause family stress and this, in turn, impacts children’s development, especially during the vital early years.

Changes in family members

The parent resources assist parents and family workers in supporting children’s understanding of some of the changes that occur in families when a parent returns home with a physical injury or mental health condition.

The research behind the project and further research



Building on this, we have created 4 suites of research-based free, online resources for children, parents, educators and family/social workers.

Philosophy and licencing of the resources

The resources are strengths-based, and resilience-based and aim to improve children’s emotional intelligence and empathy.

All resources, including the narratives of the eBooks, are published under a Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). There are no royalties paid to the authors of the resources.

This means children from military families, and other children who experience a parent working away (e.g. in mining, transport, tourism, emergency services etc.) may be able to benefit from the resources once they are released to the public in 2023. They can be freely used internationally or adapted by other organisations for use in their own country or community.

More about the suites of resources

There are learning modules in each set of resources for:

  • children (including downloadable, printable, eBooks, activity books, read-along recordings, interactive eBooks, signed eBooks for those with hearing impairment or language delays, teaching activities [puppets, games, songs, puzzles, craft, role plays])
  • parents (including practical ideas to assist children during relocations, deployments, training episodes, responses to deployment [physical, social, emotional, learning], tips from other defence parents, information and support)
  • educators (ways to support the children, parents and carers)
  • family and social workers (ways to support the children, parents and carers).

The resources have been evaluated in during 2021 to 2022. They have been adapted from the feedback and are now released to the public. All resources are free, research-based and online.

The aim of the resources is to give adults the knowledge, tools and support to provide the best support they can to children from military families. We want children from defence families to not only survive military family life, but thrive.

How can you get involved?

There are a number of ways you can get involved in the project:

  1. Explore our web pages for resources for children, parents, educators, academics/researchers/policymakers, information about our funders, and explore our media releases
  2. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
  3. Give us feedback about the resources
  4. Suggest other resources you think are needed.

Why is the ECDP logo a wombat?

We think wombats and children from military families have a lot in common.

They are both:

  • tough, yet vulnerable (and some wombats are even endangered)
  • able to adapt to different terrain
  • largely forgotten even though they are amazing.

Thanks to Trish Donald for our lovely logo.

Acknowledgement of country

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we work and acknowledge that the land is Aboriginal land belonging to the Anaiwan nation in Armidale. We acknowledge that other Aboriginal nations also had a relationship with the land, including the Dungutti, the Kamilaroi and the Gumbaynggirr nations. We pay respects to elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded by the traditional owners of the land on which UNE sits.

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