Child Indicators Research

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 695–708 | Cite as

Associations Between the Early Development Instrument at Age 5, and Reading and Numeracy Skills at Ages 8, 10 and 12: a Prospective Linked Data Study

  • Sally Brinkman
  • Tess Gregory
  • John Harris
  • Bret Hart
  • Sally Blackmore
  • Magdalena Janus


The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) is collected at age 5 as a developmental census once every 3 years across the entire country. The AEDI is the Australian adaptation of the Canadian Early Development Instrument (EDI). The objective of this paper is to determine how well the EDI predicts a child’s later literacy and numeracy outcomes as assessed by the National Assessment Program Literacy And Numeracy (NAPLAN) standardised testing in primary school in Australia. Data integration undertaken by the Department of Education in Western Australia individually linked the first ever population coverage of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) in Australia with the children’s literacy and numeracy assessments at years 3, 5 and 7 (n = 1,823). The EDI predicts children’s literacy and numeracy outcomes throughout their primary school years. The association is equally as strong in predicting scores at years 3, 5 and 7 (ages 8, 10 and 12). A child’s skills, development and attributes at school entry (as measured by the EDI) predict their latter literacy and numeracy skills (as measured by NAPLAN) throughout primary school. This is the first paper to investigate the relationship between the EDI and the national standard school assessments in Australia. The implications are two fold; firstly the results provide confidence in Australia’s use of the AEDI as a national progress measure of human capability formation and secondly it reinforces the importance of having all children entering school with the skills and developmental capacity to take advantage of schooling.


AEDI EDI NAPLAN Child development Literacy Numeracy 



The Australian Government and State and Territory Governments are working in partnership with the Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health in Melbourne, the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth, to deliver the AEDI. The Social Research Centre, Melbourne, is managing the AEDI data. The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) is funded by the Australian Government. This AEDI funding supported the first and second author during the preparation of this manuscript. We also thank the Department of Education, Western Australia for linking the EDI data to WALNA and NAPLAN.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally Brinkman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tess Gregory
    • 1
    • 3
  • John Harris
    • 4
  • Bret Hart
    • 5
  • Sally Blackmore
    • 4
  • Magdalena Janus
    • 6
  1. 1.Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health ResearchUniversity of Western AustraliaWest PerthAustralia
  2. 2.Health SciencesCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of Population HealthUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Department of EducationPerthAustralia
  5. 5.Alliance for Future HealthPerthAustralia
  6. 6.Offord Centre for Child StudiesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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