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 aims to build a picture of children's activities in the years before they start school and the impact of these activities on their development. The project was 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 involved the collection of child development data based on teacher observations by using Australian version of the Early Development Instrument (AvEDI). Data ​were collected using the secure online data collection system used for the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC).

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. ​View the AvEDI here

To add to this richness provided through the AvEDI and build a picture of children’s activities outside school, parents and primary caregivers of children in participating communities in their first year of full-time school ​were invited to take part in a survey. The survey ​collected information about the early childhood education and care history of their child, their parenting style and the child’s home environment. This ‘primary caregivers survey’ took place September – November 2018. 

As a thank you, schools​ who achieved a high level of participation in the Primary Caregiver Survey were provided with a voucher to be spent on supplies (such as books or equipment) for the school. 

Information for parents and carers

Parents and primary caregivers from participating communities ​were invited to ​complete a survey about the early childhood education and care histories of their child. Participation ​was voluntary, and parents/carers ​were able to opt out of the project at any time by notifying the school their child was attending. 

Reporting of data

All data from the project were 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.

For further information on privacy please refer to the AEDC privacy statement.

Further information

For more information refer to the 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 Kids Institute at AECEDEstudy@telethonkids.org.au

Fact sheet: About the AECEDE Research Project

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