The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a national population-based measure of how young children have developed by the time they start their first year of full-time school. It is the only measure of its kind in Australia, and Australia is the only country conducting this census nationally.
The AEDC highlights what needs to be improved to support children and their families. It also helps communities know how their children are progressing.
How the data is collected
Data is collected every three years in schools across Australia. Four sets of data are now available from 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018. The next collection will be in 2021. Around 300,000 children take part in each collection. This forms a robust evidence base to inform research.
The data is collected using the Australian version of the Early Development Instrument. This is made up of around 100 tested and validated questions.
Using AEDC data in research
You can use AEDC data with other resources to plan and evaluate ways to improve early childhood development outcomes.
Uses of the AEDC data include:
- research about early childhood development
- informing schools of ways to improve their practices
- informing the development and evaluation of national, state and community priorities, programs and policies, through statistical analysis and publication of information about the early development of children.
If you have an AEDC story to share, please email Education.AEDCTeam [at] sa.gov.au.
The reporting, publication and analysis of AEDC data and results must follow the AEDC data guidelines.
Accessing AEDC data
National, state and community level data is available for free.
Access it via the AEDC data explorer.
There is also a guide to the data explorer.
Public tables for all collections are available for the following levels:
- local government area (LGA)
- statistical area level 2 (SA2)
- statistical area level 3 (SA3).
You can access other data products by geographic area via the AEDC data explorer. You can also view links to ABS contextual data and the Population Health Information Development Unit (PHIDU) Social Health Atlases.
To request other AEDC data contact the Data Management Agency via support [at] aedc.gov.au or +61 3 9236 8530.