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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Andrich, D., & Styles, I. (2004). Final report on the psychometric analyses of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) using the Rasch Model: A technical paper commissioned for the development of the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI). Perth: Murdoch University.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006). Information paper: An introduction to Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA). Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Barnett, W. S. (2011). Effectiveness of early educational intervention. Science, 333(6045), 975–978. doi:10.1126/science.1204534.
Brinkman, S., & Blackmore, S. (2003). Pilot study results of the Early Development Instrument: A population based measure for communities and community mobilisation tool. Paper presented at the Beyond the Rhetoric in Early Intervention conference. Australia: Adelaide.
Brinkman, S., Silburn, S., Lawrence, D., Goldfeld, S., Sayers, M., & Oberklaid, F. (2007). Investigating the validity of the Australian Early Development Index. Early Education and Development, 18(3), 427–451.
Brinkman, S. A., Gialamas, A., Rahman, A., Mittinty, M. N., Gregory, T. A., Silburn, S., et al. (2012). Jurisdictional, socioeconomic and gender inequalities in child health and development: analysis of a national census of 5-year-olds in Australia. BMJ Open, 2(5), e001075. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001075.
Cavanaugh, D. A., Lippitt, J., Moyo, O. (2000). Resource guide to selected federal policies affecting children's emotional and social development and their readiness for school. Off to a good start: Research on the risk factors for early school problems and slected federal policies affecting children's social and emotional development and their readiness for school (pp. 95–221). Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Centre.
Commisioner for Children and Young People (2009). Submission to the education and health standing committee: Review of WA’s current and future hospital and community health care services. Perth: Government of Western Australia. http://www.ccyp.wa.gov.au/files/resource/Submission%20-%20Review%20of%20WAs%20current%20and%20future%20hospital%20and%20community%20health%20care%20services.pdf. Accessed 1 January 2012.
Cunha, F., Heckman, J., Lochner, L., Masterov, D. (2005). Interpreting the evidence on life cycle skill formation NBER Working Paper 11331. Cambridge, MA.
Forget-Dubois, N., Lemelin, J. P., Boivin, M., & Dionne, G. (2007). Predicting early school achievement with the EDI: a longitudinal population-based study. Early Education and Development, 18(3), 405–426.
Gable, S., & Hunting, M. (2000). Nature, nurture and early brain development. http://extension.missouri.edu/p/GH6115. Accessed 3 January 2012.
Goldfeld, S., Sayers, M., Brinkman, S., Silburn, S., & Oberklaid, F. (2009). The process and policy challenges of adapting and implementing the Early Development Instrument in Australia. Early Education and Development, 20(6), 978–991. doi:10.1080/10409280903375800.
Guhn, M., & Goelman, H. (2011). Bioecological theory, early child development and the validation of the population-level Early Development Instrument. Social Indicators Research, 103(2), 193–217. doi:10.1007/s11205-011-9842-5.
Guhn, M., Zumbo, B., Janus, M., & Hertzman, C. (2011). Validation theory and research for a population-level measure of children’s development, wellbeing, and school readiness. Social Indicators Research, 103(2), 183–191. doi:10.1007/s11205-011-9841-6.
Hart, B., Brinkman, S., & Blackmore, S. (2003). How well are raising our children in the North Metropolitan Area: the Early Development Index. Perth: North Metropolitan Heath Service.
Heckman, J. (2008). Schools, skills, and synapses. Economic Inquiry, 46(3), 289–324.
Hertzman, C., & Wiens, M. (1996). Child development and long term outcomes: a population health perspective and summary of successful interventions. Social Science & Medicine, 43(7), 1083–1093.
Janus, M., & Duku, E. (2004). Normative data for the Early Development Instrument retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://www.offordcentre.com/readiness/files/RESULTS.Normative_Data.pdf.
Janus, M., & Offord, D. (2007). Development and psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument (EDI): a measure of children’s school readiness. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 39(1), 1–22.
Janus, M., Brinkman, S., Duku, E., Hertzman, C., Santos, R., Sayers, M. (2007). The Early Development Instrument: A population-based measure for communities. A handbook on development, properties and use. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: Offord Centre for Child Studies.
Janus, M., Brinkman, S., & Duku, E. (2011). Validity and psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument in Canada, Australia, United States and Jamaica. Social Indicators Research, 103(2), 283–297. doi:10.1007/s11205-011-9846-1.
Kuh, D., & Ben-Shlomo, Y. (1997). A Life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ladd, G. W., & Price, J. M. (1987). Predicting children’s social and school adjustment following the transition from preschool to kindergarten. Child Development, 58(5), 1168–1189.
Louden, W., Chan, L., Elkins, J., & Greaves, D. (2000). Mapping the Territory—primary students with learning difficulties: Literacy and numeracy. Canberra: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Lynch, J., Law, C., Brinkman, S., Chittleborough, C., & Sawyer, M. (2010). Inequalities in child healthy development: some challenges for effective implementation. Social Science & Medicine, 71(7), 1219–1374.
Marmot, M. (2010). Fair society, healthy lives: The Marmot review. http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/projects/fair-society-healthy-lives-the-marmot-review. Accessed 2 September 2012.
McCain, M., & Mustard, J. F. (1999). The early years study-reversing the real brain drain http://www.children.gov.on.ca/NR/rdonlyres/ezcw4l25r7hwn5zahs7d5bnqtsrxviaj6gfmyfwyal7zdqmuera5xdanysxbtkizc47qqrrkwkbwae/eyseng1.pdf. Accessed 2 April, 2004.
Reynolds, A. J., Temple, J. A., Robertson, D. L., & Mann, E. A. (2001). Long-term effects of an early childhood intervention on educational achievement and juvenile arrest—a 15-year follow-up of low-income children in public schools. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(18), 2339–2346. doi:10.1001/jama.285.18.2339.
Reynolds, A. J., Temple, J. A., Ou, S. R., Arteaga, I. A., & White, B. A. B. (2011). School-based early childhood education and age-28 well-being: effects by timing, dosage, and subgroups. Science, 333(6040), 360–364. doi:10.1126/science.1203618.
Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Pianta, R. C., & Cox, M. J. (2000). Teachers’ judgments of problems in the transition to kindergarten. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15(2), 147–166.
Robins, L. N., & Rutter, M. (1990). Straight and devious pathways from childhood to adulthood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schweinhart, L. J., Barnes, H. V., & Weikart, D. P. (1993). Significant benefits: the High-Scope Perry preschool study through age 27 (Monographs of the HighScope Educational Research Foundation, 10). Ypsilanti: HighScope Press.
Shore, R. (1997). Rethinking the brain: New insights into early development. New York: Families and Work Institute.
Smart, D., Sanson, A., Baxter, J., Edwards, B., & Hayes, A. (2008). Home-to-school transitions for financially disadvantaged children. Sydney: The Smith Family.
Tremblay, R. (1999). When Children’s Social Development Fails. In D. Keating & C. Hertzman (Eds.), Developmental health and the wealth of nations: Social, biological, and educational dynamics (pp. 55–71). New York: Guilford Press.
Willms, J. (Ed.). (2002). Vulnerable children. Alberta: The University of Alberta Press.
Zubrick, S. R., Williams, A., Silburn, S., & Vimpani, G. (2000). Indicators of social and family functioning. Canberra: Department of Family and Community Services.
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.
About this article
Cite this article
Brinkman, S., Gregory, T., Harris, J. et al. 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. Child Ind Res 6, 695–708 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-013-9189-3