Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)

Australian Early Development Census Logo, An Australian Government Initiative

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a national collection of information.

This measures how children are developing in their first year of full-time school.

The 2018 AEDC is the fourth national collection since 2009.
The next collection will be in 2021.

Teachers in Tasmania completed comprehensive questionnaires for more than 6,400 Prep students across the state.

The AEDC assesses children as being developmentally ‘on track’, ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’ across five key developmental domains:

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

Introduction to the AEDC

Introduction to the AEDC – video transcript

Understanding the Data

Understanding the Data – video transcript

The AEDC is the most comprehensive data collection of its kind in the world and Australia’s only census of children in their early years.

The AEDC data can help schools to:

  • plan and support children’s successful transition to school
  • raise awareness of the importance of children’s early years
  • implement programs and services for children in the community to support early child development
  • act as a platform to forge collaborative community partnerships


The AEDC provides educators across sectors with a common language to understand and discuss what is working well in their community and where families may need support to ensure that their children are on-track during the early years.

Evidence from the AEDC can be used to support policy and practice in early childhood education.

The five AEDC domains provide an insight at a community level into the learning and development needs of young children.

The AEDC is also a useful predictor of future development and learning, indicating how well early childhood education programs have prepared them for future learning experiences.

Below is an example of how the AEDC has been used by Early Childcare Educators

Schools with prep students in all schooling sectors participate in the census. Prep teachers complete the Australian Version of the Early Development Instrument (AvEDI) for each child in their class, using a secure data entry system.

Teachers complete the instrument based on their knowledge and observations in their class. Children are not required to be present while teachers complete the AvEDI and schools participating in the collection receive funding for teacher relief time.

Further information about AEDC data collection is available on the  National Website.

If you require further information or support for the 2021 AEDC data collection contact the AEDC Helpdesk on 1800 092 548 or email:

Schools will receive an information pack that will provide information on steps on how to complete the data collection in March 2021.
The data collection starts 3 May until 2 July.

Watch a video highlighting the steps in completing the 2021 AEDC collection.

AEDC – Community Skills Café Waverly (3:47 mins)

AEDC – Bush Kinder Dorset (4:16 mins)

AEDC – Tactical Tots – East Devonport Child and Family Learning Centre (3:10 mins)

Tactical Tots for Blokes & Kids was developed to engage fathers and toddlers together through an obstacle course, extension games and physical activities.  This increases the opportunity for the child to develop stronger attachment to their fathers/ significant male.

To ensure the concept is sustainable beyond Tactical Tots for Blokes & Kids program, the CFLC also purchased larger equipment which helps extend other community programs such as “Muscle Up Boot Camp” a Devonport City Council/ CFLC program for older children.

AEDC – Empowering Parents – Franklin Primary School (6:18 mins)

Staff at Franklin Primary worked alongside parents to help them understand and identify the ways their children are developing and how they can extend their children’s learning.  The parents were provided with ongoing information around why the play their children are engaging in is so important to their development.

Using the AEDC – Why Bother? (4:42 mins)

By exploring the AEDC data Ringarooma Primary School provided quality fun and play based activities where parents and carers are encouraged by staff to get involved to help deepen their parenting skills and understand the importance of play in their child’s development.  This has led to discussions between parents about parenting issues and share ideas about where to seek help in the community.

AEDC – Lady Gowrie Research Project (5:49 mins)

Physical health and wellbeing: innovative approaches in an inner-city community
(Overarching research question – How can early childhood enable children to flourish in the area of physical health and wellbeing?)

Michael Dempsey and Jodi Upton talk about the positive results from the 2018 AEDC collection for Tasmania, also the programs and initiatives that families and community members can engage in to support children’s learning and development.  (ABC Drive, Thursday 28 March, 2019, 11:55 mins)

Contact and further information

For further information, visit Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) website or contact the Tasmanian AEDC Coordinator on 03 6165 5708 or