Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Project to monitor child development commences

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced the first seven communities to commence a project that will measure the progress of young children in a number of key developmental areas.

The announcement follows Australian Government support of $900,000 for four years for the development of an Australian Early Development Instrument

“The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a short questionnaire administered by teachers in the first year of school. Originally developed in Canada, the Centre for Community Child Health, headed by Professor Frank Oberklaid, and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, headed by Professor Fiona Stanley, have refined the EDI for use in Australia

“The Index includes measures of health, social skills, literacy and maths, general knowledge, memory, behaviour and physical skills. It is not used to assess individual children, but rather to gauge how all children in a particular location or at a particular school are doing. It helps to highlight gaps that might exist in the social support for families in that area.

“I am pleased to announce that the following communities will commence using the Index:

  • Carnarvon in the north west of Western Australia
  • The East Metropolitan Area of Perth
  • The Goldcoast area of Queensland
  • The Gosnells area of Perth
  • Kalgoorlie in Western Australia’s Goldfields
  • The Mirrabooka area of Perth
  • Rockingham, south of Perth

“The project team is also in the process of working with other communities around Australia, to help them begin the Australian Early Development Index project.

“The Australian Early Development Index project is exciting and has enormous potential in Australia. Findings from the Australian Early Development Index has the potential to become an important source of data for governments at all levels and local communities to help them enhance their children’s capacity.

“This funding demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to early childhood development. We are taking meaningful steps to work with governments, communities and parents to improve children’s chances in life,” Mr Anthony said.