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Australian Early Development Census

The census measures a child's development in their first year of school. Learn how we use the results to improve outcomes for children in the ACT.

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) measures child development. This happens around age 5 or 6 when a child is in their first year of full-time school. In the ACT this is kindergarten.

Teachers across Australia complete the census every 3 years. They answer about 100 questions about their student's:

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

The census tracks results across these 5 areas, called domains. This shows which areas might be getting better or worse for children.

Early childhood education and care providers, schools, community organisations, researchers and government use these results to find ways to improve outcomes for children.

You can see how local organisations are using the results at AEDC community stories.

What we learned in the 2021 census

  • The percentage of ACT children whose development is on track has gone down since 2018 (from 48.7% to 47.3%).
  • Almost one in 7 children are facing challenges in 2 or more areas. They are at high risk of not developing to their full potential.
  • More children need further assessment – about 4 in every kindergarten class.
  • Belconnen and Tuggeranong regions had the highest percentages of children developmentally vulnerable.
  • Social competence was the only area where outcomes improved. There were 0.1% fewer children considered developmentally vulnerable.

Read more about the ACT results:

2024 AEDC census

The 2024 data collection is from 1 May to 5 July.

Check the dates in the AEDC 2024 calendar.

ACT Workshops and training

There is training available to help you prepare for the census collection.

Unconscious bias awareness

This free 30 minute online course will increase your awareness of unconscious bias.

The course is for:

  • teachers
  • preschool and early years educators
  • executive teachers
  • school leaders
  • community-based professionals
  • allied health professionals.

Sign up for the course

Prepare for the census collection

The workshops will give you:

  • information about the census process
  • tips on planning for the census
  • the opportunity to ask questions.

This training is for:

  • ACT kindergarten teachers
  • school leaders from government, Catholic and independent schools.

Register for the workshop

Book a presentation

The ACT AEDC coordinator can present the 2021 results and discuss how your organisation might respond to the results.

To book a session tailored for your needs email us at

Access AEDC data

You can find all AEDC data on the National Early Development Census website.

The AEDC website has advice on how to interpret and use the results.

AEDC training course

You can access a NSW Department of Education course on how to use the AEDC dataset.

Register on the NSW Department of Education website.

Then select Browse Learning and search for AEDC to start the microlearning course.

Contact us

To book a presentation, get ACT data or discuss your project, contact the AEDC coordinator.

AEDC Coordinator
This page is managed by: Community Services Directorate