Australian Early Development Census

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is an Australian Government initiative.

The AEDC is a nationwide survey that shows how young Australian children have developed as they start their first year of formal full-time education.

The AEDC highlights what is working well and what needs to be improved or developed to support children and their families.

Formerly known as the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI), the Australian Early Development Census is an essential part of the Australian Government’s commitment to delivering access to high-quality early childhood education that is also affordable and flexible.

With three sets of AEDC national data, collected in 2009,2012 and 2015 and a further collection due to be reported on in 2019, we now have a mechanism to measure the progress being made amongst local children in relation to key early development indicators, compared against state and national benchmarks. With each successive wave of data collection, the AEDC will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the state and progress of early childhood development across Greater Geelong.


Measurements and results

Based on the scores from the teacher-completed checklist on children at school entry level, the AEDC measures five key areas (domains) of early childhood development:

  • Physical health and well-being

  • Social competence

  • Emotional maturity

  • Language and cognitive skills

  • Communication skills and general knowledge

Results are analysed and reported at a population level; for example: community, state and national levels.

The results of the AEDC project in Geelong have provided an exciting landmark opportunity to develop a clearer understanding of the variables that impact on children’s early development, measured against national and local benchmarks.

The AEDC has also assisted with identifying critical areas requiring local action and resource investment to address the needs of young children and enhance their development and support.

Planning for the future

With accurate information about children being available at a local level, communities are better placed to plan and provide the right services to support the children in their community.

Further details about the results can be found at AEDC.

Page last updated: Monday, 3 December 2018