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Australian Early Development Census

Australian Early Development Census logo (a sylised adult and child in green, blue, red, and yellow), followed by the words An Australian Government Initiative.

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) measures how young children have developed by the time they start their first year of full-time school. The AEDC collects data every three years in schools across Australia. This data provides evidence to support health, education and community policy and planning.

To date, the development of over 850,000 children living in Australia has been measured across three collections, including more than 54,000 from South Australia.

The fourth AEDC data collection is taking place from 1 May 2018 to 3 August 2018.

Access the community data

National, state and community AEDC data for the 2015 collection were released in early March 2016. A range of data products are available from the AEDC website, including the 2015 national AEDC report, community profiles and community data in map, graph and table format for export.

The third national AEDC data collection took place in schools from 4 May 2015 to 31 July 2015. Australia continues to be a world-leader in the measurement of early childhood development with the 2015 collection capturing data on more than 300,000 across Australia across all schooling sectors, including more than 19,600 from South Australia or 96.4% of eligible children across all schooling sectors.

Access the school data

AEDC school data for 2015 is available to schools with six or more children that participated in the 2015 AEDC data collection. The AEDC school profiles and school summaries provide an overview of school results and include useful information on interpreting, using and sharing AEDC school data.

Principals at participating schools receive an email link to download their de-identified data at the end of each collection year. The AEDC school profiles and school summaries can also be emailed direct to school principals by contacting the AEDC helpdesk on 1800 092 548 or helpdesk@aedc.gov.au or the state AEDC coordinator.

What the AEDC measures

The AEDC measures how children are developing in five key areas known as 'domains':

  • physical health and well being
  • social competence
  • emotional maturity
  • language and cognitive skills (school-based)
  • communication skills and general knowledge.

Using the AEDC data

The AEDC data provides vital information for planning and community collaboration to support children's early development, learning and transition to school.

The AEDC data can help communities, schools and preschools to:

  • understand the local levels of developmental vulnerability and reflect on the factors that might be influencing this
  • implement programs and services for children in the community to support early child development
  • plan and support children's successful transition to school
  • form collaborative partnerships to support children and their families.

Resources

A range of resources for schools and early childhood education and care settings are available below.  The materials include links for leaders and teachers between the AEDC domains and:

  • the National Quality Standard
  • Early Years Learning Framework
  • Australian Curriculum
  • Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL).

Downloads

Summary – value of the AEDC for education leaders (PDF 1.9MB)
An overview of the way the AEDC supports data driven planning. Knowing how children are developing at five years of age can help identify community strengths, challenges and opportunities. Reflecting on the local context ensures education and care planning is responsive and inclusive of children’s experiences.


Summary – value of the AEDC for educators (PDF 4MB)
An overview of the ways in which educators can enhance their planning with community data. This overarching summary has been designed to support educators to understand how the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) can be used to inform their planning and practice. By working through the three stages: assess, plan and act, educators will have a greater understanding of how to use the AEDC data within their setting to support children’s holistic development.


Domain guide – physical health and wellbeing (PDF 3.2MB)
This guide supports early childhood education and care services and schools to gain a deeper understanding of the AEDC physical health and wellbeing domain. The guide can be used to inform early childhood and curriculum planning, quality improvement and strengthen partnerships with families and the community.


Domain guide – social competence (PDF 2.2MB)
This guide supports early childhood education and care services and schools to gain a deeper understanding of the AEDC social competence domain. The guide can be used to inform early childhood and curriculum planning, quality improvement and strengthen partnerships with families and the community.


Domain guide – emotional maturity (PDF 3MB)
This guide supports early childhood education and care services and schools to gain a deeper understanding of the AEDC emotional maturity domain. The guide can be used to inform early childhood and curriculum planning, quality improvement and strengthen partnerships with families and the community.


Domain guide – language and cognitive skills (PDF 3.4MB)
This guide supports early childhood education and care services and schools to gain a deeper understanding of the AEDC language and cognitive skills domain. The guide can be used to inform early childhood and curriculum planning, quality improvement and strengthen partnerships with families and the community.


Domain guide – communication skills and general knowledge (PDF 2.3MB)
This guide supports early childhood education and care services and schools to gain a deeper understanding of the AEDC communication skills and general knowledge domain. The guide can be used to inform early childhood and curriculum planning, quality improvement and strengthen partnerships with families and the community.


Key curriculum connections – physical health and wellbeing (PDF 752KB)
This guide provides connections to key curriculum documents for the AEDC physical health and wellbeing domain.


Key curriculum connections – social competence (PDF 470KB)
This guide provides connections to key curriculum documents for the AEDC social competence domain.


Key curriculum connections – emotional maturity (PDF 653KB)
This guide provides connections to key curriculum documents for the AEDC emotional maturity domain.


Key curriculum connections – language and cognitive skills (PDF 407KB)
This guide provides connections to key curriculum documents for the AEDC language and cognitive skills domain.


Key curriculum connections – communication skills and general knowledge (PDF 873KB)
This guide provides connections to key curriculum documents for the AEDC communication skills and general knowledge domain.


AEDC poster (PDF 740KB)
This poster provides a quick visual guide to the Australian Early Development Census and linking it to the National Quality Standard, Early Years Learning Framework, Western Australian Curriculum and AITSL Standard. The poster is designed to be printed on A3 paper.


This package of materials has been developed by a collaboration led by the Western Australia Department of Education, with the Association of Independent Schools of Western Austalia, Catholic Education Western Australia, the South Australian Department for Education, the New South Wales Department of Education and the Telethon Kids Institute.

More resources

The AEDC website has more resources for communities, policy makers, local government, health settings, researchers, schools and early childhood education and care settings to support the use of AEDC data.

The AEDC website also has more information about how South Australian schools, preschools and communities have used the AEDC data. If you have an AEDC story to share, please email DECD.AEDCTeam@sa.gov.au.

Contact

SA AEDC State Coordinator

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