About the AECEDE Research Project

About the AECEDE Research Project

About the Australian Early Childhood Educational Development Experience (AECEDE) Research Project

What is the AECEDE Research Project?

The Australian Early Childhood Educational Development Experience (AECEDE) Research Project explores the impact of early learning experiences, both at home and in early education and care services, on young children’s development and learning. The project is being conducted by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training supported by the NSW Department of Education, the NT Department of Education and researchers from the Telethon Kids Institute and the Social Research Centre. 

Collection of data

The project has two components. The first involves the collection of child development data based on teacher observations, and will take place in July/August 2017. Early Childhood Qualified Teachers (Teachers) in participating ​services/schools will complete the Australian version of the Early Development Instrument (AvEDI) for all children in their preschool or long day care service who are eligible to start full-time school in 2018. Data will be collected using the secure online data collection system used for the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC).

The second component will be a survey completed by parents or primary caregivers of these children. This will collect information about early childhood education and care histories of their children participating in the AECEDE Research Project, and will take place in September/October 2017. 

Teachers will complete the AvEDI, the Instrument used in the AEDC, which has been adapted for this AECEDE Research Project. The AvEDI consists of around 100 questions measuring five important areas or domains of early childhood development. For more information about the AvEDI, refer to the Data Collection Tool: Australian version of the Early Development Instrument page on the website. To view the 2015 AvEDI refer to resources for parents on the website.

Teachers will complete the AvEDI based on their knowledge and observations of the child using the AEDC online secure data collection system. Children do not need to be present when teachers complete the Instrument. Support materials and training packages will be provided to teachers to assist them to collect this data.

For Indigenous children, it is recommended that if the teacher is not of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent the AvEDI is completed in consultation with an Indigenous Consultant (ICC). ICCs are staff members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who have a unique understanding of Indigenous culture and ways of learning, and are well placed to support teachers with completing the AvEDI for Indigenous children.

A financial contribution towards the cost of educator/teacher relief and administrative support will be available to all participating services/schools based on the number of children in their care for whom the AvEDI is completed and the number of teachers completing training. Funding is also available for ICCs who complete AECEDE training and assist teachers to complete the Instrument. 

Information for parents and carers

Parents and primary caregivers will be invited to take part in a survey about the early childhood education and care histories of their child. Participation is voluntary, and parents/carers can opt out of the project at any time by notifying the service/school their child is attending. 

Why participate in the AECEDE Research Project

Data collected from the AECEDE Research Project will provide valuable information to help guide government policy, research and practice in the early childhood sector.

For services/schools, the process of completing the AvEDI will enable teachers to systematically reflect on all aspects of each child’s development. Teachers participating in the project may translate these learnings to inform their approach to supporting the needs of children in their care.

At the policy and research level, information on the impact of different early education pathways on children’s development will provide the evidence to guide planning in both early childhood education and care services and in schools.

Reporting of data

Once the collection is complete, summary reports will be made available at the community level to all participating services/schools. The reports will provide information on children’s development across the five domains, including physical health and wellbeing; social competence; emotional maturity; language and cognitive skills and communication skills and general knowledge. These will be similar to current reports available for the AEDC. 

All data from the project will be provided to relevant state or territory Departments of Education to inform policy, analysis and research. Data collected through the AECEDE Research Project may also be linked with information from other Commonwealth and state and territory Government agencies, (such as health and education departments) to support policy, practice and service provision for young children and their families.


Data obtained from this project will not be assessed or reported at the individual child-level. Children’s names and other identifying information will be recorded by the teacher for data collection purposes using the secure data collection system. However, data will be de-identified before being made public. For further information on privacy please refer to the AEDC privacy statement.

Further information

For more information, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and About the AECEDE Research Project factsheet below.

For enquiries:

Contact the AEDC team at helpdesk@aedc.gov.au or phone 1800 092 548 for enquiries about operational aspects of the data collection (educator/teacher training, completing the AvEDI, the online collection system, financial contributions).

To find out more about the research aims and study design, contact the Telethon Kid Institute at AECEDEstudy@telethonkids.org.au

FAQs for the AECEDE Research Project

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Fact sheet: About the AECEDE Research Project

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