AEDC (Australian Early Development Census)

The AEDC is a measure of how young children are developing in Australian communities. Like a census, it involves collecting information to help create a snapshot of early childhood development in communities across Australia.

The AEDC is a population measure of children's development as they enter their first year of formal school. Information for the AEDC is collected through a teacher-completed checklist that measures five areas of early childhood development. These five areas, or domains, are closely linked to the predictors of adult health, education and social outcomes:

  • physical health and wellbeing
  • social competence
  • emotional maturity
  • language and cognitive skills (school-based
  • communication skills and general knowledge.

Evidence shows that a person's life successes, health and emotional wellbeing have their roots in early childhood. We know that if we get it right in the early years, we can expect to see children thrive throughout school and their adult lives.

Both nature and nurture (genes and environment) influence children's development. The quality of a child's earliest environments and the availability of appropriate experiences at the right stages of development are crucial determinants of the way each child's brain architecture develops.

Caring and supportive environments that promote optimal early childhood development greatly increase children's chances of a successful transition to school. This in turn, promotes children's chances of achieving better learning outcomes while at school and better education, employment and health after they have finished school.