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Child & Adolescent Community Health Division
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The Australian Early Development Index Project
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The Building Better Communities Project

By 2006, the Australian Early Development Index: Building Better Communities for Children project will help up to 60 communities throughout Australia understand how children are developing by the time they reach school age. The project is conducted by the Centre for Community Child Health in partnership with the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. It is an initiative of the Australian Government's National Agenda for Early Childhood and supported by Shell Australia.


The Early Development Instrument (EDI) was originally developed in Canada where it has proven to be a reliable and valid measure of children's development. As of June 2005, the EDI has been completed on 290, 000 Canadian children.
Working towards a healthier future for all West Australians
In 2003, the EDI was first used in Australia by what was then known as the North Metropolitan Population Health Program, led by Sally Brinkman and Dr Bret Hart. 4,300 children had an EDI checklist completed. In mid-2004, Murdoch University in WA validated and adapted the EDI tool for use in Australia. This new tool is known as the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI). In late 2004, the East Metropolitan Population Health Unit, as it was then, was selected in the first round of eight communities from across Australia to use the AEDI. 1,767 children had an AEDI checklist completed.

What is the AEDI?
The AEDI is a community-level measure of young children's development based on a teacher-completed checklist (the AEDI checklist). It consists of over 100 questions measuring children's readiness for school in five developmental domains: language and cognitive skills; emotional maturity; physical health and wellbeing; communication skills and general knowledge, and, social competence. The 100 questions are consolidated into an index for each of the five developmental domains. The AEDI is designed for use with whole populations of children identified only by suburb and is not to be interpreted at an individual level for diagnostic purposes. The results indicate strengths and vulnerabilities of children on each of the five developmental domains at suburb level. These data can be used to monitor early childhood development, create effective community based responses, prompt new policies and programs, and explore new ways of working together to ensure children get the best possible start.

The East Metropolitan Population Profile Perth 2004

The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) was completed in the East Metropolitan area of Western Australia in October-November 2004.

Community Report and Profile East Metropolitan Perth, WA November 2005
Guide to understanding and using the results
AEDI Maps of the East Metropolitan Area
Movie Clip

Australian Early Development Index Website
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