Socioeconomic outcome area 4

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children thrive in their early years

TARGET 4

By 2031, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children assessed as developmentally on track in all five domains of the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) to 55 per cent

The data below are the most recent at the time of preparing the July 2021 report.
Please go to the Dashboard to access the current data.

Nationally in 2018, 35.2 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children commencing school were assessed as being developmentally on track in all five AEDC domains (figure CtG4.1).

There are no new data since the baseline year of 2018.

Figure CtG4.1 displays the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children commencing school and non-Indigenous children commencing school who were assessed as being developmentally on track in all five Australian Early Development Census domains. The aim under Closing the Gap is to increase the proportion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from a 2018 baseline value of 35.2 per cent to a target value of 55 per cent by 2031.

Target data specifications

Target 4: Increase the proportion of children assessed as developmentally on track

Outcome:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children thrive in their early years.

Target:

By 2031, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children assessed as developmentally on track in all five domains of the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) to 55 per cent.

Indicator:

The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children assessed as developmentally on track in all five domains of the AEDC.

Measure

The measure is defined as:

Numerator — number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the first year of full-time schooling who scored above the cut off score for developmentally on track in all five domains of the AEDC.

Denominator — total number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the first year of full-time schooling.

and is presented as a percentage.

Target established:

National Agreement on Closing the Gap July 2020

Latest dashboard update:

23 June 2021

Indicator type:

Target

Interpretation of change:

A high or increasing proportion is desirable. An increase from the baseline year is an improvement.

Data source:

Name: AEDC microdata file.

Frequency: Three-yearly

Documentation (links): https://www.aedc.gov.au

Data provider:

Provider name: Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Provider area: Australian Early Development Census

Baseline year:

2018

Target year:

2031

Disaggregations:

State and territory and Australia, by Indigenous status

Computation:

Numerator divided by Denominator multiplied by 100

Counting rules

Children who score above the 25th percentile, determined using the cut-off points established in the first national census (2009 AEDC), are classified as ‘on track’. A set of cut-off points define on track for each of the five domains: physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge.

Geographical variables are based on the location in which the child resides.

As age is a factor contributing to children’s development, the published AEDC results control for age.

Excludes (both numerator and denominator)

  • children for whom Indigenous status was not stated
  • children without valid scores in any of the five domains. Instruments are flagged as invalid because domain scores are not calculated for: children with special needs; children in class less than one month; children aged less than four years old; or where the teacher is unable to answer at least 75 per cent of items in any given domain.

Data quality considerations:

See http://www.aedc.gov.au for further information.

The AEDC is a national population measure on how children have developed by the time they start their first year of full-time school. Information is collected through a teacher-completed instrument in children’s first year of full-time schooling.

For 2018, data were collected from 96.4 per cent of children in their first year of full-time school (308,953 children) of which 6.3 per cent were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children. Of those not participating, 10.9 per cent were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children.

Of the 96.4 per cent of participating children, 4.9 per cent did not have domain scores calculated (8.1 per cent for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children).

Research conducted in 2007 validated the AEDC for use for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (AEDC Indigenous Adaption Study).

The target year is 2031, however the AEDC is currently only collected every three years. The closest year to the target year that the AEDC is projected to be collected is 2030.

Future reporting:

Additional disaggregations required for future reporting:

  • Remoteness areas
  • Socioeconomic status of the locality
  • Gender.

Supporting indicators

Driver

  • Preschool attendance and enrolment
  • Primary carer education level

Contextual information

  • Outcomes by AEDC domains
    Developmentally vulnerable, at risk, on track
  • AEDC Multiple Strengths Indicator
    Highly developed, well developed and emerging strengths
  • Progress towards parity

The Productivity Commission acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures, Country and Elders past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of people who have passed away.