AEDC video: Introduction to the Australian Early Development Census - Transcript
The whole idea of the census is to get a snapshot of where each child is at, what they need, what their parent needs, and what the community needs to do to give them the best start in life.
A child’s earliest experiences have lifelong effects…
What they see.
What they do.
And how they feel.
These early years are crucial in shaping the adults they’ll become.
The Australian Early Development Census helps schools, communities and governments pinpoint and tailor services and support to help young children and their families.
Making the most of early childhood development is at the heart of the census.
The Australian Early Development Census is snapshot of children’s development, how children have grown and developed from zero through to five years of age. It provides communities information around how they can support the physical health and wellbeing of children and emotional and social skills.
WA’s young and diverse Banksia Grove community has embraced the census, using results from the 2 previous surveys to introduce family-friendly programmes that support early child development.
Neerabup Primary School has been very, very fortunate to have been included in the census and the benefits to our school have been amazing.
The school community features a dedicated child and parent early learning centre for zero to four year olds.
By knowing families right from the beginning we can see if any students need that extra help or guidance that we can organise the families to go and seek help for those students.
We’re talking about speech problems, we’re talking about particular disorders, so for instance global development delay must be picked up 12 months before they come to kindy.
If we can identify those needs and bring in the relevant services, speech services, some children require occupational therapy, so if we can work with our families in these early years it’s certainly going to benefit the children and families as they head into school for the rest of their life.
It’s a good place for kids to start learning, simple things, learning to socialise and also for parents.
As a parent it’s fantastic to be able to come and actually feel like you’re a part of a community, to feel supported and that you’re not alone.
The AEDC is held every 3 years and so far has involved more than half a million children across Australia. Teachers record information based on their knowledge and observations of each child in their first year of full time school that focuses on five key areas of development called domains.
Physical Health and wellbeing, such as a child’s gross and fine motor skills, physical independence and physical readiness for school.
Social Competence, curiosity about the world, responsibility and respect, approach to learning, readiness to explore new things.
Emotional Maturity, social and helping behaviours, an absence of anxious and fearful behaviour, hyper-activity or inattention.
Language and Cognitive Skill, literacy skills, interest in reading and numbers, memory skills and basic numeracy.
Communication Skills, use of language, storytelling, what they know about life and the world around them.
Research tells us that the early years of a child’s life are so important. The developing brain is so sensitive to the environments children are growing up in from their families right through to their communities.
Perth’s City of Wanneroo is an ‘AEDC Local Champion’ – converting a government grant into a popular child and parent programme at its Banksia Grove community centre.
City of Wanneroo has provided a really valuable programme, It’s All About Play. It’s valuable because it is exposing children and parents to a resource that we really need. It helps our development and it really does change lives.
It gives me the chance to teach him new things because obviously we don’t have everything at home so it’s a good idea we can use the tools here.
The most important investment for any nation is to invest in the early childhood environments so that its children can grow up healthy and well. This means that we value parenting, we value the role of the child and the AEDC is like our GDP of child development and it will enable and encourage investments that are most productive for our country.
For our children, for our families I think it is a fantastic start for all of us – I’m really excited to be a part of this program.