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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 1,160,000 children living in Australia has been measured across four collections, including more than 75,000 from South Australia.

The 4 collections were done in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018.

Access the AEDC community data

National, state and community AEDC data for the 2018 collection was released in March 2019.

A range of data products are available from the AEDC website, including national reports, community profiles and community data in map, graph and table format for export.

Australia continues to be a world-leader in the measurement of early childhood development. The 2018 collection captured data on almost 309,000 Australian children across all schooling sectors. Over 20,300 (96%) South Australian children were included.

Access the AEDC school data

AEDC school data for 2018 is available to schools with six or more reception children that participated in the 2018 AEDC data collection. The AEDC school profiles provide an overview of school results and include useful information on interpreting, using and sharing AEDC school data.

South Australian Catholic and Independent schools can access their 2018 AEDC school profiles by contacting the AEDC helpdesk on 1800 092 548 or helpdesk [at] aedc.gov.au.

South Australian Department for Education schools can access their profiles through the Schools and Preschool Performance Reporting System (SPeRS).

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
  • inform planning for children's learning and development
  • form collaborative partnerships to support children and their families.


A new range of resources tailored for schools and early childhood education and care settings are available below. These resources can inform preschool and school planning processes.  The suite of materials for leaders and teachers highlights connections between the AEDC domains and the National Quality Standard, Early Years Learning Framework, Australian Curriculum and Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL).

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 Australia, Catholic Education Western Australia, the South Australian Department for Education, the New South Wales Department of Education and the Telethon Kids Institute.

Summary – value of the AEDC for education leaders (PDF 1.9MB)

Summary – value of the AEDC for educators (PDF 4MB)

Domain guide – physical health and wellbeing (PDF 3.2MB)

Domain guide – social competence (PDF 2.2MB)

Domain guide – emotional maturity (PDF 3MB)

Domain guide – language and cognitive skills (PDF 3.4MB)

Domain guide – communication skills and general knowledge (PDF 2.3MB)

Key curriculum connections – physical health and wellbeing (PDF 752KB)

Key curriculum connections – social competence (PDF 470KB)

Key curriculum connections – emotional maturity (PDF 653KB)

Key curriculum connections – language and cognitive skills (PDF 407KB)

Key curriculum connections – communication skills and general knowledge (PDF 873KB)

AEDC poster (PDF 740KB)

More resources for communities, policy makers, local government, health settings, researchers, schools and early childhood education and care settings are available to support the use of AEDC data from the national AEDC website.

There are also stories about how communities are using the AEDC data, including early childhood settings and schools. If you have an AEDC story to share, please email Education.AEDCTeam [at] sa.gov.au.


SA AEDC State Coordinator

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