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.   

What the AEDC means for schools

Schools have a significant role to play in the early years. Current policy for schools reflects this, such as the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians and the National Education Agreement. 

The AEDC provides important contextual information about children arriving at school to support schools in completing their School Annual Report. Findings from the AEDC can help schools identify areas where children and families in their community require additional support to achieve positive outcomes. The AEDC can be used to start conversations that raise awareness of the importance of the early years, develop relationships with local early childhood education services and assist with the understanding of vulnerability and protective factors in the community.

What is the school’s role in the AEDC data collection?

Without the commitment and support of all schools across Australia, the AEDC would not be possible.

Schools play a vital role in the collection of accurate and relevant data that provides the first insight into whether or not children in their early years are on track.

In 'Schools' section:
  • Principals’ role in the AEDC
    School principals are instrumental in ensuring that their school community, including teachers and parents, is prepared to support AEDC data collection
  • Data for Schools
    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 is provided by teachers and reported at a community level.