Australian Early Development Census—Queensland schools

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The fifth national Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data collection took place from 4 May to 25 June 2021.

Conducted every 3 years, the AEDC is the most comprehensive collection of its kind in the world. The information gained from the census helps to shape the future and wellbeing of our children by providing evidence to support education, health and community policy and planning.

Key findings 

In 2021, Queensland saw its highest rate of participation with 98.6% of Australian schools participating in the AEDC collection. For Queensland, the data is representative of approximately 65,000 children, or 98.4% of the 2021 Prep cohort.

The results of the 2021 AEDC indicate that: 

  • Queensland had the greatest level of improvement across all jurisdictions.
  • Queensland has seen a significant increase in the proportion of children who are starting school on track on all developmental domains.
  • Queensland vulnerability rates are still higher than the national average, but the gap has narrowed.
  • ​vulnerability is not equally distributed across all cohorts of children.

Accessing AEDC 2021 data

Download the AEDC 2021 Queensland data report ​​for a summary of Queensland’s 2021 AEDC data in context. Access the AEDC 2021 Queensland Infographic​ for a brief overview of the highlights for Queensland.

​Confidential AEDC 2021 School Profile Addendums are available for all participating schools with 6 or more Prep student enrolments at the time of the census. The addendums contain school-level data as well as state and national data comparisons. These are available to state school principals in OneSchool, under the ‘Reports’ tab.

2021 AEDC Community data can be accessed on the AEDC website.​​

​For further information or assistance, contact the Queensland AEDC team at​.

Information and resources for Early Childhood Education and Care services are available on AEDC—Queensland Early Childhood Education and Care​​.​

What the AEDC data means for schools

The AEDC collection provides vital information for school planning and community collaboration to support children's early learning, development and transition to school.

The AEDC data can help schools to:

Access a collection of school resources and Queensland community stories to assist with understanding AEDC data and how it can be used.

About the AEDC

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a nationwide data collection that occurs every 3 years.

The AEDC measures how children are developing as they transition into their first year of school based on 5 key areas known as 'domains': Physical health and wellbeing, Social competence, Emotional maturity, Language and cognitive skills (school-based), and Communication skills and general knowledge.

Physical health and wellbeing

Children's physical readiness for the school day, physical independence and gross and fine motor skills.

Social competence

children's overall social competence, responsibility and respect, approach to learning and readiness to explore new things.

Emotional maturity

Children's prosocial and helping behaviours and absence of anxious and fearful behaviour, aggressive behaviour and hyperactivity and inattention.

Language and cognitive skills (school-based)

Children's basic literacy, interest in literacy, numeracy and memory, advanced literacy and basic numeracy.

Communication skills and general knowledge

Children's communication skills and general knowledge base on broad developmental competencies and skills measured in the school context.

The 5 AECD domains - diagram

​Where do I go for more information?

Visit the AEDC website for more information.

Contact the Queensland AEDC team within the Department of Education at

Last updated 28 September 2023