Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)

A population-based measure of how children in Australia have developed by the time they start their first year of full-time school.

The AEDC provides a national measurement to monitor Australian children’s development.

We provide evidence to support policy, planning and action for health, education and community support. The AEDC can assist governments to develop flexible approaches to policy and planning that address the evolving needs of children and families in the future.

The AEDC involves the collection of data across five developmental domains:

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

About the AEDC

This video provides a quick overview of the AEDC and why the data is important.

Watch 'About the AEDC' (2:44).

What is the AEDC?


What is the Australian Early Development Census? Often called the AEDC, is a population-based measure of how children in Australia are tracking in terms of their development by the time they start school.

AEDC looks at 5 areas of early childhood development. These are physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills (school based), communication skills and general knowledge.

The latest data. Data collection has occurred every three years since 2009, with the latest collection completed in 2021. The 2021 AEDC data is now available to explore and download from the AEDC National Data Explorer page; Download your data today.

Using the data. The data has outcomes at the school, community, state, and national levels. It can be used by parents, communities, professionals in early childhood education, schools and researchers.

Why is the data important? AEDC provides educators and other professionals across sectors with a common language to understand and discuss early childhood development in their community. It is a tool to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood development. Evidence from the AEDC can be used to support policy, initiatives and practice in early childhood education and schools. The AEDC domains link in with learning happening in the early years learning framework and the NSW syllabuses.

How to use the data to support a strong start to school. Start by exploring your data. Consider what factors might be influencing changes and trends overtime. The data is a great conversation starter. Think about who you can connect and collaborate with to improve outcomes for children. Discuss your community results with local stakeholders and create community partnerships that support local children.

Find more information, professional learning, research events and domain guides on AEDC NSW webpage; Additional resources can be found on the AEDC national web page;

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