Learning more about Australia’s children
- Minister for School Education
- Minister for Early Childhood and Youth
This week more than 7500 government and non-government schools across Australia will start taking part in the world’s most comprehensive collection of information about the development of Australia’s children.
Minister for Early Childhood and School Education Peter Garrett today visited the Mount Rogers Early Links to Learning Playgroup in Canberra to launch the second data collection for the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI).
“Australia is the first country in the world to have collected comprehensive and population based data on young children across the entire nation,” Mr Garrett said.
“The second national AEDI data collection is ground breaking because, for the first time, governments and communities will be able to track progress in their work to improve the health, education, social competence and emotional development of children across Australia.
“It’s a vital tool for educators, Governments and the community, as it helps us understand the importance of early intervention and provides information about the support children and families need.
“It’s time to get the basics of early learning right, because we know that by supporting children in the years before school we greatly increase their chance of a successful transition to school as well as being happy and productive in their later years,” Mr Garrett said.
The AEDI measures five key areas of young children’s development: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge.
Mr Garrett said the Gillard Government made an important investment with the first national implementation of the AEDI in 2009 and has committed to collecting this data every three years with an investment of $28 million for each cycle.
“We’re already seeing some incredible programs being delivered across Australia as a direct response to the 2009 results, including the Early Links to Learning playgroup in Canberra, which offers literacy and numeracy support to children before primary school at no cost to parents,” Mr Garrett said.
“The AEDI is just one part of the Gillard Government’s national reforms to early childhood; from our commitment to giving all children access to 15 hours of early childhood education and care for 40 weeks a year by a university-trained teacher by 2013, to improving staff to child ratios in child care and the qualifications of those staff.”
The 2012 AEDI data collection will occur from May to 31 July 2012, during which time teachers in schools across Australia will complete the AEDI Checklist for all children in their first year of full-time school. Results of the data collection are expected in 2013.
For more information on the AEDI go to www.aedi.org.au.