The UK initiative Sure Start is probably the most ambitious attempt of any government to improve the outcomes of children living in disadvantaged areas. Unlike programs in the United States, which have a longer history and are targeted at individual children, Sure Start has an ecological focus that comes from theoretical research and empirical evidence on the importance of family and neighbourhood to how children fare. Sure Start shares several characteristics with current Australian initiatives and is based in some cases on identical research. Moreover, the long history of intellectual exchange and networking between the UK and Australia, and the impact of new information technologies on research, policy and practice dissemination, means a great deal of traffic between Sure Start and Australian programs takes place. The Social Policy Research Centre was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) to focus on the policy developments that led to the establishment of Sure Start and the move from Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) to Sure Start Children’s Centres. A second strand of the research focused on the Australian experience of similar initiatives. This strand investigated the influence of Sure Start and other international programs on early-years intervention in Australia, and the extent to which the lessons from Sure Start are relevant and have been taken on board. Research in the UK was undertaken in April 2005 and in Australia between October 2005 and February 2006.