Early childhood

Early childhood

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a population based measure of how children have developed by the time they start school. It looks at five areas of early childhood development: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills (school-based), and communication skills and general knowledge.  

Early childhood educators

The AEDC provides educators across sectors with a common language to understand and discuss what is working well in their community and where families may need support to ensure that their children are on-track during the early years. Evidence from the AEDC can be used to support policy and practice in early childhood education.

How the AEDC can be used by early childhood educators

The five AEDC domains provide an insight at a community level into the learning and development needs of young children. The AEDC is also a useful predictor of future development and learning, indicating how well early childhood education programs have prepared them for future learning experiences.

In 'Early childhood' section:
  • Working with communities
    Data from the AEDC can assist early childhood educators create and develop community partnerships that provide targeted support to families and children. Along with contextual information about a community, the AEDC can identify where new programs and services will address unmet needs relevant to early childhood development.
  • Quality improvement and policy
    Early Childhood Education service providers can use the AEDC to contribute to reporting against the National Quality Framework. AEDC data can also offer important contextual information when understanding key developmental milestones and how developmental progress can be monitored and optimised for individual children from birth to five years of age.
  • Findings from the AEDC
    The AEDC is held every three years, with the 2018 AEDC data collection being the fourth collection. Information on five domains of early childhood development was provided by teachers and reported at a community level. The most recent results offer a useful measure for early childhood educators to identify if children in their community are on-track, when compared to others in Australia.