Closing the Gap 2019 Report

Infancy and Early Childhood

Key Points:

  • The target to halve the gap in child mortality rates by 2018 is not on track.
  • Since the target baseline (2008) the  Indigenous child mortality rate has declined by 10 percent (not statistically significant) but the gap has not narrowed as the non-Indigenous rate has declined at a faster rate. 
  • Indigenous maternal and child health indicators have continued to improve, indicating potential gains in child mortality outcomes in the coming years. 
  • The Northern Territory  continued to have the highest Indigenous child mortality rate (305per100,000) over the period 2013–17
  • 84% of Indigenous child deaths were infants, More than half (56percent) of these infant deaths were due to ‘perinatal conditions’  (such as birth trauma, foetal growth disorders, complications of pregnancy, and respiratory and cardio vascular disorders)
  • In 2017, 95 percent of Indigenous four year olds were enrolled in early childhood education.
  • NT 80% enrolment rate
  • Attendance rates for Indigenous children were lower in remote areas - up to 16 percentage points lower than the rates for Indigenous children in other areas.
  • Only around two-thirds (68percent) of all Indigenous children enrolled in early childhood education attended for 600 hours or more in a year, with rates lower for Indigenous children living in the most disadvantaged and remote areas.


Read the full report here