Mitchelton Preschooling Centre shares how it uses AEDC data for planning
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Mitchelton Preschooling Centre shares how it uses AEDC data for planning

Mitchelton Preschooling Centre shares how it uses AEDC data for planning

by Freya Lucas

December 12, 2022

The Queensland Government recently developed a suite of resources to link the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) domains to the National Quality Standard and the Early Years Learning Framework, including videos to view in a team context, case studies, and a guide to each of the five AEDC domains.


One of the resources is a case study outlining how Mitchelton Preschooling Centre uses the AEDC to provide an additional layer of evidence to inform programming and planning. 


“The AEDC is a really good body of work. It is important to get the information out to parents. There are a lot of competing demands, so it’s crucial to use a variety of strategies to support parent engagement,” explained Leanne Hunter, Director Mitchelton Preschooling Centre.


Mitchelton Preschooling Centre is a three unit kindergarten, located in the outer-northern area of Brisbane, running programs for children aged 3.5 to 4.5 years of age. The centre also offers a program for children who have turned three by 31 January. The service is affiliated with The Gowrie (Qld) and caters for up to 132 children each week.


Prior to Ms Hunter taking the lead role, previous co-director of the centre, Dr Lisa Sonter, supported the development of the current suite of AEDC resources for early childhood education and care services (ECEC), so the AEDC is not new for the service. 


The teaching team looked at how the AEDC aligned with the Early Years Learning Framework, and identified areas where their program was already targeting these domains.


“We reflected on our program in terms of the AEDC domains. We believe one of our strengths as a service is our ability to share information with families,” Ms Hunter shared. “We decided to use this as a platform to share information on children’s development in these domains, and support continuity of learning between children’s experiences at the kindergarten and at home.”


“We are lucky to have a large, very experienced teaching team who are motivated learners. We have established a culture of collaborative decision- making,” she added. 


“The resources helped to create a shared language, to look at our local data and determine areas where we felt we could provide additional support to children and families. We reflected on the data and our own knowledge of the children in our service and decided a focus on Physical health and wellbeing and Communication skills and general knowledge was right for us.”


In the communication space, the service initiated a ‘conversation starters’ which supported parents to connect with their children whilst taking advantage of routine times like over meals or driving in the car. 


At the end of Term 2, the teachers worked with the children to build a child-sized car. During this process they engaged children in thinking about the kinds of conversations they might have in the car, and collated a list of the children’s ideas for conversation starters.


This Conversation Starters project is now on display alongside the finished car in the foyer. The teachers have seen an influx of parents stopping to check out the display with their children and adding their own suggestions.


Reflecting on the Conversation Starters project, one parent noted that her new favourite time with her son is in the car. ‘We used to listen to music in the car, but one day I asked “Would you rather talk or listen to music?” he said, “Talk”. It’s a really great learning time,’ she says.


Ms Hunter’s advice for services that have not explored their AEDC data yet is to “use the available tools to reflect; review the data and resources in the context of your centre and local community; make a plan and take little steps.”


To access the resource suite or to learn more, please see here. Image sourced from Verde Design Group.

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