About the AEDC

About the AEDC

Girl in her school uniform, holding books. Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a nationwide data collection of early childhood development at the time children commence their first year of full-time school.  The AEDC highlights what is working well and what needs to be improved or developed to support children and their families by providing evidence to support health, education and community policy and planning.

The AEDC is held every three years, with the ​2018 AEDC data collection being the ​fourth collection. The census involves teachers of children in their first year of full-time school completing a research tool, the Australian version of the Early Development Instrument. The Instrument collects data relating to five key areas of early childhood development referred to as ‘domains’, these include:

  • Physical health and well being
  • Social competence
  • Emotional maturity
  • Language and cognitive skills (school-based)
  • Communication skills and general knowledge

The AEDC domains have been shown to predict later health, wellbeing and academic success.

Find out more 

This web site is for everyone interested in Australian child development – parents, schools, communities, researchers and policy makers. 

This section of the site provides information about the AEDC and includes the history and background of the census.

For further related information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page or use the Search tool that appears at the top of each page.

Some parts of this web site are written for professional researchers and there the AEDC may sometimes be referred to as a ‘data collection’ or a ‘population measure’. These terms have a specific meaning but generally are another way of referring to the AEDC, as described at the top of this page.