Australian Early Development Census

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is an Australian Government initiative. It is a nationwide census that shows how young children in Australia have developed as they start their first year of full-time school.

Through regular data collection every three years, communities can better measure and compare childhood development programmes and services over time.

The AEDC helps schools, communities and governments to pinpoint the services resources and support that young children and their families need to help shape the future and wellbeing of children in Australia.

The new user-friendly AEDC website is aimed at allowing various stakeholders to access important information about the AEDC as it relates specifically to them.

What does the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) mean for parents?

Every three years since 2009, the Australian Government has undertaken a census of all children in their first year of full-time schooling. Information collected by the AEDC is used to inform early childhood policy and service delivery to help shape the future and wellbeing of Australian children.

How is the AEDC collected?

Teachers use their knowledge and observations of the children in their class to complete an AEDC Checklist, which is a series of specific questions for each individual child. Children do not lose any class time and parents are not required to provide any additional information to the school.

As a population-based measure, the AEDC is not designed to be an individual diagnostic tool. As such, the AEDC looks at groups of children in the community, not individuals. AEDC results are reported publicly at the national, community and local community levels, acknowledging Australia’s diverse cultural context.

Your child

If your child is part of an AEDC, the information provided by their teacher will make an important contribution to our understanding of the development of Australian children during their early years.

By supporting the AEDC you are providing much needed evidence for your community to use to achieve the best possible educational and health outcomes for your child and other children and families.

The data collected is used to help shape future policy and in no way can the individual child be identified from the research findings.

More information?

The Australian Early Development Census website provides comprehensive information on the AEDC, including:

  • information about privacy
  • findings from the 2005, 2012 and 2009 AEDC
  • how communities have used AEDC results
  • frequently asked questions.

Last updated: