AEDC will run again in 2024 - what’s the process?
The Sector > Policy > AEDC will run again in 2024 – what’s the process?

AEDC will run again in 2024 – what’s the process?

by Freya Lucas

January 25, 2024

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a nationwide census of early childhood development captured as children transition into their first year of school.


AEDC is conducted every three years, and is the most comprehensive collection of its kind in the world. The information gathered through AEDC helps to shape the future and wellbeing of children by providing evidence to support education, health and community policy and planning.


Policy makers, service providers, governments, communities, education sectors and researchers use AEDC data to inform policy, planning, services and collaborations for children and families.


When does AEDC data collection take place?


The 6th AEDC data collection will take place from 1 May to 21 June 2024. There is an AEDC collection calendar which outlines key collection dates. 


From February 2024, the AEDC helpdesk team will provide government, Catholic and independent schools with students enrolled in reception year, with information to help schools prepare for and complete the data collection.


Schools will be able to download their results from the online national AEDC Data collection system once participation is finalised in the collection.


The five AEDC domains


The AEDC measures how children are developing as they transition into their first year of school based on five key areas known as domains.


The 5 AEDC domains  of child development are:


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


Combined, these domains provide a holistic picture of children’s development, which can be used to support curriculum and quality improvement planning.


What the AEDC data means for Early Childhood Education and Care services


AEDC data provides evidence to help guide Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), state based curriculums, and National Quality Standard (NQS) planning. 


The data can inform educators about areas of developmental strengths and vulnerabilities in a community and support responsive environments and programs.


AEDC results can be used by early childhood education and care services to:


  • plan and support children’s successful transition to school
  • raise awareness of the importance of children’s early years
  • support programming, planning and quality improvement at early childhood education and care centre-based services
  • implement programs and services for children in the community to support early child development
  • act as a platform to form collaborative community partnerships.


The Queensland Department of Education has worked with Early Childhood Australia to create resources for early childhood education and care services around the AEDC.


What the AEDC data means for community organisations


AEDC data provides a snapshot of how children are developing in each community. By exploring the AEDC results, each community can work together to find out more about what works well in their area and what can be improved. This way, the community will be able to provide better support for local children and their families.


Specific examples of how communities have used the AEDC can be found in the Queensland Department’s AEDC community stories




The Queensland Department has a collection of resources to help ECEC services, community organisations and schools to understand their AEDC data and how it can be used to inform curriculum programming, planning and quality improvement.


The professional development package teaching in kindy: linking the AEDC and Queensland kindergarten learning guideline has been developed for kindergarten teachers working in an early childhood setting in the Queensland context.


For more information about AEDC please see here.

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