The AEDI can be used by communities, schools and policy makers, in conjunction with other resources (such as state and national statistics), to both plan and evaluate efforts to foster optimal early childhood development for all children.
The AEDI is an adapted version of the Canadian Early Development Instrument (EDI), which was developed by the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, Ontario, and has now been completed on over half a million Canadian children.
The AEDI has been successfully trialled in 60 communities (involving over 37,000 children and 1,000 schools).
The AEDI is based on the scores from a teacher-completed checklist on children in the first year of full time schooling and consists of over 100 questions in the five developmental domains of physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG), has also endorsed the AEDI as a national progress measure of early childhood development
The AEDI is currently being adapted for Indigenous children (IAEDI Study) and children from language backgrounds other than English (AEDI LBOTE Study).
Using the AEDI results to improve outcomes for young children
Results from the first four years of AEDI implementation have provided communities with a basis for reviewing the services, supports and environments that influence children in their first five years of life.
The AEDI has helped communities raise awareness of the importance of early childhood development and provided them with information that has assisted in developing strategic plans to improve outcomes for children.