Australian Early Development Census—Queensland schools

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Australian Early Development Census: An Australian Government initiative  

​Conducted every 3 years, the Australian Early Development Census (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.

The 6th national Australian AEDC data collection will take place in Queensland schools from 1 May to 21 June 2024.​

Message from the Director-General and Education sector leaders​



In this joint video message about the 6th national Australian AEDC data collection, information about why participation in the AEDC is so important is shared by the 3 Queensland leaders of the education sectors: Mr Michael De’Ath, Director-General Department of Education, Mr Christopher Mountford, Chief Executive Officer Independent Schools Queensland​ and Mr Allan Blagaich, Executive Director Queensland Catholic Education Commission.

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:

  • plan and support children's successful transition to school
  • support student learning and wellbeing, and inform school improvement planning
  • raise awareness of the importance of children's early years
  • implement programs and services for children in the community to support early child development
  • act as a platform to forge collaborative community partnerships.

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 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)
  • 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

2021 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
  • developmental vulnerability is not equally distributed across all cohorts of children.

Accessing 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 reports are available for all participating schools with 6 or more Prep student enrolments at the time of the census. The reports 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.

More information

Visit the AEDC website for more information.

Contact the Queensland AEDC team within the Department of Education at

Last updated 22 February 2024