Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)

​The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data provides a snapshot of children’s development at the time they start school. The publicly available data can be used by local communities to support the planning and delivery of children’s early years services.

The AEDC is crucial to our planning for children prior to school entry. It is a known predictor of children's educational outcomes including NAPLAN and of emotional wellbeing. The AEDC demonstrates how well five-year-olds are progressing towards the transition to school, and reflects successful community actions that support children's continuing development.

The third national AEDC took place in 2015, with data collected on 71,786 Victorian children. We thank schools across Victoria for their participation.

In 2018 the Australian Government will launch the fourth wave of the AEDC

It is critical that all Victorian schools participate and complete the AEDC on children in their foundation year of school. More information about the 2018 AEDC collection will be available later in the year.

Horizon Forum, March 15 2017, 5-6.30 pm

Professor Kim Schonert-Reichl - Advancing Social and Emotional Learning in Schools

For more information, see below in AEDC updates and conferences or to register your interest in this event, see: Horizon forum

Results from the 2015 AEDC data collection

Results from the 2015 data collection were launched on 7 March 2016 by the Federal Minister for Education, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, in South Australia.

The results, in the form of the AEDC National Report and AEDC community profiles, can be accessed on the AEDC 2015 Results Website.

Over coming months Victoria will provide a suite of resources to complement the national release of the 2015 AEDC results, including a new ‘Visualising the Evidence’ mapping series which will layer AEDC data across Victorian communities with a range of complementary data sets.

For background information on the collection, see: The 2015 AEDC Data Collection FAQs or AEDC background

Key findings from the AEDC Data collection

  • The majority of Victorian children are developmentally on track.
  • 19.9 per cent of Victorian children are developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains – which is the lowest proportion of children of any state or territory. It is a slight increase in vulnerability from 2012 (19.5 per cent) but remains an improvement from 2009 results (20.3 per cent)./li>
  • 9.9% of children are vulnerable on two or more domains (9.5% in 2012 an 10% in 2009).
  • The percentage of children vulnerable on the communication skills and general knowledge domain has decreased steadily over time in Victoria.
  • While there has been an increase in the number of Victorian children on track in the language and cognitive skills domain, vulnerability has also slightly increased on this domain - further work is needed to determine why this may be so.
  • The percentage of children vulnerable on the physical health and wellbeing domain and social competence domain has increased very marginally in Victoria and nationally. The physical health and wellbeing domain includes information about children arriving to school hungry, whether they are poorly dressed, personal hygiene, gross and fine motor skills and general coordination (i.e. it is not a measure of child obesity).
  • Vulnerability on the emotional maturity domain has marginally increased consistent with a national trend.

Improvement in vulnerable communities

  • There has been significant improvement across all AEDC domains in some vulnerable Victorian communities and case studies detailing the way in which three of these communities have responded to need are now available. See: Community stories for Frankston North, Warrnambool and Doveton (docx - 89 (docx - 92.91kb).
  • AEDC Change over time maps: Developmentally vulnerable on 1 or more domain​ (pptx - 13 (pptx - 13.67mb)
  • Although there is a strong correlation between socio-economic status and vulnerability and the highest proportions of vulnerable children are most likely to be found in low SES areas, the highest number of vulnerable children sits in the middle band of Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) quintiles.
  • The AEDC affords us the opportunity to examine what is impacting on the development of children over time. With increased understanding of how policies and practices impact child development, this data will assist us in identifying necessary reforms to improve outcomes for children.

AEDC results: Visualising the Evidence

Maps are a powerful way to understand the AEDC results. For mapped data on your community, see:

Visualising the Evidence 2016​

Visualising the Evidence 2012

Visualising the Evidence 2009

The ‘Visualising the Evidence’ mapping series is a free tool that allows you to choose the data you would like to see for your community.

For other sources of data, see: Using the AEDC: Research, Resources and Data Sources

Using the AEDC: turning data into action

Much of the Victorian success has been a consequence of engaging with local champions. The Local Champions project in 2009 investigated what is needed to enable communities to turn AEDC data into action. For more information, see: The Victorian Local Champions Project

A number of local status reports modelled on The State of Victoria’s Children reports have been published since the first release of the AEDC data. These reports build on foundation of AEDC results for their local communities. Bendigo, East Gippsland, Wyndham, Whittlesea, Shepparton and Great Southern communities were early adopters. For more information see: Using the AEDC: community case studies and State of Children’s Wellbeing reports

There are many resources to help you use data; see: Using the AEDC: Research, Resources and Data Sources and Useful Links

Alternatively, you can contact the Early Childhood Knowledge Exchange team

AEDC updates and conferences

The AEDC Symposium 'From Knowledge to Action' was held in Melbourne in 2014.

The National AEDC Conference 'Linking data to action in Schools, Communities and Governments across Australia' was held in Adelaide in 2015.

To access presentations from these events, see: AEDC Updates and Conferences

Horizon Forum: Advancing Social and Emotional Learning in Schools, March 15 207, 5-6.30pm, Bastow Institute

This Horizon Forum will examine what it takes for our young people to be socially and emotionally fit so they can flourish in learning and life.

Professor Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership, University of British Columbia, Canada, will explore the focus on educating the whole child by placing attention on advancing and promoting children's social and emotional competence in schools and how it is linked to academic success.

Professor Schonert-Reichl will outline the social and emotional learning initiatives in Canada and the United States and her recent research evaluating universal classroom based social and emotional competence promotion programs.

  • Date: Wednesday 15 March
  • Time: 5:00pm - 6:30pm
  • Location: Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership, 603-615 Queensbury Street, North Melbourne 3051​
  • Register: Horizon Forum​

About Kimberly Schonert-Reichl

Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl is an Applied Developmental Psychologist and a Professor in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture area in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Known as a world renowned expert in the area of social and emotional learning (SEL), Dr. Schonert-Reichl's research focuses on identifying processes and mechanisms that foster positive human qualities in children and adolescents. She has led the development of the implementation of the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI), a child self-report population measure of children's social, emotional, and physical well-being inside and outside of school. The MDI is currently being implemented in Australia.

Dr. Schonert-Reichl has worked as middle school teacher and teacher at an alternative high school for at risk adolescents.

Dr. Schonert-Reichl has received several awards for her work. She is the recipient of the 2015 Joseph E. Zins Distinguished Scholar Award for outstanding research on social and emotional learning (SEL).  She has chaired a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and leading educators, researchers, and policy makers on the themes of cultivating compassion and educating the heart.

Dr. Schonert-Reichl has over 100 publications in scholarly journals, book chapters, and reports.

Advancing the Science and Practices of Social and Emotional Learning in Schools (docx - 37kb)​