Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Communities Locally Monitor Child Development

Almost 40 communities across Australia will this year receive a detailed report on the early development and school-readiness of their young children as part of the second round of the innovative Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) project.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, said the AEDI was an important tool to help communities understand the health, development and wellbeing of their children, identifying areas where children are excelling, as well as those areas in need of additional support.

The Howard Government has provided $900,000 funding to the AEDI Project under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.

“I am pleased to see the level of enthusiasm and support for this project from so many communities, this second round includes10,000 children from 32 communities,” Senator Patterson said.

Senator Patterson today visited one of the communities which will be involved in the next round of the project.

“Detailed results for the first round, which included over 6000 children across seven communities testing the use of the AEDI will be released later this year,” Senator Patterson said.

The AEDI is a population measure of young children’s development based on a teacher-completed checklist of over 100 questions, which includes language and cognitive skills; emotional maturity; physical health; wellbeing; communication skills; general knowledge; and social competence.

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. It has been further adapted and validated for use in Australia.

Almost all states and territories are represented in the second round, with the mix of metropolitan and regional communities and the diversity of organisations involved demonstrating the usefulness of the AEDI and the interest in the early childhood years.

“I congratulate all communities participating in the AEDI project for their commitment to ensuring children get the best possible start in life,” Senator Patterson said.

List of Round 2 Communities

Australian Capital Territory

  • Gungahlin-Hall District


New South Wales

  • Blacktown (Communities for Children)
  • Fairfield (Communities for Children)
  • Lismore (Communities for Children)
  • Miller (Communities for Children)
  • Raymond Terrace (Communities for Children)
  • Sydney West Area
  • Tumbarumba Shire Council



  • Deception Bay (Communities for Children)



  • Bayside City Council
  • Brimbank (Communities for Children)
  • Broadmeadows
  • Geelong
  • Maribyrnong
  • Mornington Peninsula
  • Shire of Yarra Ranges
  • Wyndham


South Australia

  • Onkaparinga (Communities for Children)
  • Port Adelaide (Communities for Children)
  • Port Augusta (Communities for Children)
  • Salisbury (Communities for Children)



  • Burnie (Communities for Children)


Western Australia

  • Armadale (Communities for Children)
  • Ashdale area
  • Collie
  • Kalbarri
  • Katanning
  • Kwinana (Communities for Children)
  • Meekatharra
  • North Metropolitan Area – Lower Zone
  • Rockingham
  • Shire of Capel – Dardanup, Harvey, Bunbury City Council