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AEDC for schools and early childhood services

Understanding how children are developing when they start school can help schools and early childhood services focus their efforts and planning to meet the needs of children and families.

The AEDC provides a snapshot of how children have developed when they start school. It's also a reliable predictor of children’s wellbeing and education outcomes. Children who are thriving when they start school are likely to continue to do well. Once children fall behind in their learning they are more likely to stay behind.

The 2018 AEDC results show that 23.9% of South Australia’s children are developmentally vulnerable on 1 or more of the AEDC domains and 13% on 2 or more domains.

Why the AEDC is important

Education leaders and educators can use AEDC data and resources:

Each school’s data contributes to a complete community profile. Having a complete profile ensures the AEDC remains a reliable source of evidence. This evidence is used at national, state and community levels to inform policy, programs and services, to better meet the needs of children and families.

Find out more about the important role of schools.

Using the AEDC in improvement planning

The AEDC can be used as a reliable evidence source alongside other data to inform your school or early childhood service planning.

Using the AEDC results to inform your improvement planning can lead to positive outcomes for children. The Lower Mid North local education partnership of government schools and preschools experienced this.

In response to their 2012 AEDC results, the local education partnership implemented actions focussed on supported playgroups across a number of local communities. This planned approach has contributed to a reduction in the percentage of children developmentally vulnerable in this region in their 2018 AEDC results.

If you have an AEDC story to share, please email Education.AEDCTeam@sa.gov.au.

Find out more about improvement planning

Read the AEDC user guide: schools.

Improvement planning information for:

Read stories from schools and communities.

Accessing AEDC data

The AEDC results are available at a national, state, community and school level.

Schools that participate in the collection receive an AEDC school profile. The profile includes population level school results and information to help understand, use and share the data effectively.

South Australian Catholic and Independent schools can access their AEDC school profile by contacting the AEDC helpdesk on 1800 092 548 or helpdesk@aedc.gov.au.

Department for Education schools can access their AEDC school profile through the Schools and Preschool Performance Reporting System (SPeRS).

School profiles are for school use only and are not publically available.

The AEDC data explorer is a free interactive data visualisation tool. This tool enables you to tailor how you see AEDC results for the community you are interested in. You can also download the guide to the AEDC data explorer.

Data is summarised in community profiles alongside other relevant demographic data to provide an overview of the contexts of children in each community

The reporting, publication or analysis of AEDC data and results must be in accordance with the AEDC data guidelines.

Understanding the AEDC

The AEDC provides schools with information about children’s holistic development.

The AEDC helps schools consider local issues that are likely to impact children’s development and wellbeing, and in turn the school and school community.

This information can help communities understand the environments and experiences that are shaping children’s development in the early years. Find out more about working with communities.

The AEDC measures 5 important areas of early childhood development called domains. Find out more about the domains.

Physical health and wellbeing

Children's physical readiness for the school day, physical independence and gross and fine motor skills.

Emotional maturity

Children's pro-social and helping behaviours, and absence of anxious and fearful behaviour, aggressive behaviour, and hyperactivity and inattention.

Language and cognitive skills (school based)

Children's basic literacy, interest in literacy, numeracy and memory, advanced literacy and basic numeracy.

Communication skills and general knowledge

Children's communication skills and general knowledge based on broad developmental competencies and skills measured in the school context.

Watch the understanding the data video

Video transcript


There are a range of resources to help understand and use the AEDC effectively in your planning and practice.

Get started by reading about:

Click on the images below to access:

Further resources are available for early childhood educators and teachers and principals.

How the AEDC team can help

The AEDC team can:

  • help understand your community results
  • help understand demographic factors that may be making a difference
  • support using the AEDC data.


SA AEDC State Coordinator

EmailEducation.AEDCTeam [at] sa.gov.au
Web: www.AEDC.gov.au