Return of the AEDI

Prep teachers across Australia are being asked to take part in a census designed to reveal the pre-school development of the nation’s youngsters.

The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) is a national collection of information on young children’s development before they start school, which is undertaken every three years. The next collection is due to take place in schools from May to July this year, with results expected to be publicly released in 2013.  Schools should already have received an AEDI information pack outlining the arrangements for the data collection.

The AEDI is in no way an assessment of a teacher or school, nor is it a diagnostic or a planning tool. Instead, the data provides a snap shot of how children are developing before starting school, providing governments, communities and schools with the information they need to make a difference in the lives of young children and their families. School participation is critical to the AEDI’s success.

Schools will be provided with teacher relief funding for one hour of training and 20 minutes per checklist, so teachers can be released from the classroom to undertake the training and complete checklists.

Prep teachers will be asked to undertake approximately one hour of self-directed training and complete an online checklist for each prep child in their class.  Data from the first national collection in 2009 indicates that, on average, checklist completion takes around 15 minutes per child. The first few checklists may take longer, but completion time typically reduces as more checklists are completed and you become more familiar with the questions.  Disappointingly, the time provided is less than in 2009, when teachers were provided with 30 minutes per child. Please contact the QTU if the time provided is not enough to complete the checklist.

Relief funding is also available to schools for Indigenous cultural consultants to help classroom teachers complete checklists for Indigenous children.

Principals are provided with some flexibility around how they release teachers to complete the audit, and this should be negotiated with the teachers involved.  There is a three-month collection period in which the data is to be collated and submitted, and a further month in which principals should apply for the reimbursement of TRS and training in their school. They are only able to apply for this reimbursement once the collection is completed.

Participating in the 2012 AEDI data collection can contribute to continuing professional development requirements for the purposes of teacher registration with the Queensland College of Teachers.

For further information on the AEDI, visit either www.rch.org.au/aedi or http://education.qld.gov.au/schools/aediqueensland/ or contact the AEDI project team by email at AEDI@deta.qld.gov.au

Penny Spalding
Acting Women’s Coordinator

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 117 No 3, 20 April 2012, p18