Findings from the AEDC

Findings from the AEDC

Emerging Trends

  • 22 per cent of children in Australia were developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains. This was the same as in 2012 and an improvement on 2009 (23.6 per cent).

  • Significant gains have been made in children’s language and cognitive skills. 6.5 per cent of children were considered developmentally vulnerable in the language and cognitive skill domain in 2015, a decrease from 6.8 per cent in 2012 and 8.9 per cent in 2009.

  • Children’s communication skills and general knowledge improved, with 8.5 per cent of children developmentally vulnerable on one or more domain in 2015, a decrease from 9.0 in 2012 and 9.2 percent in 2009.

  • The percentage of children vulnerable on the emotional maturity domain increased in 2015 from 2012 but is still lower than 2009.

  • The percentage of children vulnerable on the physical health and wellbeing domain has increased from 9.3 per cent in 2009 and 2012 to 9.7 per cent in 2015.

  • The percentage of children vulnerable on the social competence domain has increased from 9.5 in 2009 to 9.9 per cent in 2015.

Findings from 2015

In the 2015 data collection, information was collected on 302,003 children in Australia  representing 96.7 per cent of children in their first year of full-time school. The key findings included:

  • 22 per cent of children were developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains.

  • 11.1 per cent of children were developmentally vulnerable on two or more domains.

  • 15.5 per cent of girls and 28.5 per cent of boys were developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains.

  • The majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were not considered developmentally vulnerable, 42.1 per cent of Indigenous children were developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains.

  • Where children live can have an impact on their development. Of children living in major cities, 21 per cent were developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains, compared to 47 per cent of children in very remote areas.

  • Socio-economic status can have an impact on a child’s development. Children living in the least socio-economically disadvantaged Australian communities were most likely to be on track on each of the AEDC domains.

  • Under sixteen percent of children living in the least socio-economically disadvantaged Australian communities were developmentally vulnerable on one or more of the AEDC domains compared with nearly 33 per cent of children in the most disadvantaged communities.

  • In 2015 there was an increase in the percentage of children from least disadvantaged communities vulnerable on one or more domains compared with 2012, although this remained lower than in 2009.

  • In the most disadvantaged communities the number of children developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains in 2015 decreased from 2012 although remained higher than in 2009.