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Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a nationwide data collection that occurs every three years. The AEDC measures how children are developing as they transition into their first year of school based on five key areas known as 'domains'.

The five AEDC domains are:

AEDC Domains: Physical Health and Wellbeing, Social competence, Emotional maturity, Language and cognitive skills (School based) and Communication skills and general knowledge 

Diagram explanation:
Each rectangular tile represents one of the five AEDC domains of child development: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills (school-based) and communication skills and general knowledge.

Using the AEDC

AEDC results can be used by early childhood education and care services to:

The Department of Education​, in partnership with Early Childhood Australia, has put together a suite of resources to support ECEC services to understand their AEDC data and how it can be used to inform curriculum programming, planning and quality improvement.

A range of other resources, including fact sheets, community stories and guidance on understanding and using the data is available on the national AEDC Website

2015 Data Collection

Over 96% of Australian schools participated in the third AEDC collection between May and July 2015. The national, state and territory and community results from the 2015 AEDC collection were released in early March 2016.

AEDC data is published in a range of formats including, tables, maps and community profiles on the AEDC website. To access data for your community, click on the data tab and search for your suburb.

The AEDC: Queensland data in focus report (PDF, 2MB) provides a summary of the 2015 AEDC data for Queensland.

Everton Park State School features in the report to show a practical example of how AEDC data can be used. Mr Brad Clark, who was the principal at the school, explains how they responded to their local community data to connect with the wider community and create shared goals with a united focus.

'The AEDC provided an evidence base to make meaningful connections with early childhood education and care services in the area,' Mr Clark said.

Download the report to find out how the AEDC is being used by schools, early childhood services, communities, local governments and researchers in Queensland. You can also view comparisons between Queensland's 2009, 2012 and 2015 results and read suggestions for how to use this data to support early childhood development.

Key findings:

The majority of children in Queensland are developing well as they transition to school. Across Queensland nearly two-thirds of children were developmentally on track on four or more domains.

The proportion of children developmentally on track on four or more domains has improved at a faster rate in Queensland than nationally since 2009.


The AEDC Queensland Infographic (PDF, 539KB) provides a snapshot of the emerging trends from the 2009, 2012 and 2015 AEDC data collection for Queensland. Use the infographic together with the AEDC Queensland report to support discussions about the AEDC results.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
Last updated
29 May 2018
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