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The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) is a population based measure of young children's development. Teachers complete a checklist, for children in their first year of full-time school, which measures five key areas of early childhood development:

  • Physical health and wellbeing: whether a child is healthy, independent, ready for school each day;
  • Social competence: whether a child is self-confident, gets along with others and shares, how a child plays;
  • Emotional maturity: whether a child is able to concentrate, help others, is patient, not aggressive or angry;
  • Language and cognitive skills: whether a child is interested in reading and writing, can count and recognise numbers and shapes; and
  • Communication skills and general knowledge: whether a child can tell a story, communicate with adults and children, articulate themselves.

As a population measure the AEDI examines early childhood development across the whole community, providing a snapshot of how children in the local area have developed by the time they start school. Together with other socio-demographic and community information the AEDI results are a powerful tool for influencing planning and policy around early childhood development. They can help governments and communities understand what's working well and what needs to be improved or developed to better support children and their families.

For more information go to the AEDI website.


© 2013 Commonwealth of Australia.

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