Using the Australian Early Development Census: Reports

Key findings from reports on the AEDC

Australian Early Development Census Plus: mobilising data across the early life course

The Australian Early Development Census Plus: mobilising data across the early life course report outlines the policy environment for mobilising AEDC data and complementary data across the early life course as part of a comprehensive monitoring system approach.

The intent of the policy mapping was to enable: services to more readily connect data to their day-to-day practice; communities to understand how the competencies fit into service provision; and policy makers to identify where the data may assist policy or resource development.

The report identifies key opportunities to improve the uptake and use of AEDC and broader comprehensive monitoring data:

  • Building on the current interest in social and emotional wellbeing
  • Offering schools and communities greater value than their current data
  • Embedding activities in schools.

Utilisation of the Australian Early Development Census

The Utilisation of the Australian Early Development Census report (PDF, 514KB) summarises the key themes from consultations and case studies.

The report concludes that substantial progress has been made in establishing the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) as a valued dataset in Australia.

Key findings indicated the potential for the AEDC to expand its role across community, policy and academic settings.


Consultations revealed that the AEDC has greatly increased community understanding of child development and is a key tool in community planning.

Case examples of how communities are using the data demonstrate that the AEDC provides common links between services, though not all communities have the capacity to unpack nor link the data.


As a population-level tool, the AEDC assists governments to examine developmental changes at state, regional and community level. Consultees valued the AEDC as an outcome measure of developmental vulnerability, particularly from the perspective of change over time and differences between geographic areas.

Consultees raised several areas where the AEDC and its use can evolve. For example, making more of the AEDC data through data linkage enabling greater and more sophisticated understandings of the influences that impact the early life-course.


Key themes in feedback were that the AEDC has stimulated community interest for change and has brought expertise and resources together. There is now great interest in a broader research agenda to examine the use of complementary surveys and to develop a life-course approach.

Comprehensive systematic monitoring that expands the life-course framework, earlier and later in life, is a key opportunity.