[Truncated abstract] It is understood that life success, health and emotional well-being have their roots in early childhood. Consequently early childhood development outcomes have become important indicators of not only the welfare of children but also predictors of future health and human capability. In Australia, the Federal Government has ratified the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) as a National Progress Measure of Human Capital, with the aim to monitor progress and to guide early childhood public health policy. The AEDI is a population measure of children's development collected in the first year of full time schooling. The instrument measures children's progress in five domains: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge. The AEDI is an adaptation of the Canadian Early Development Instrument (EDI) developed by Dr's Janus and Offord in 1998. In 2009, the Australian government implemented the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) as a developmental census nationally and has since committed to collecting these data once every three years. The government's commitment to the implementation of the AEDI is the culmination of 7 years of research into the adaptation, validation, implementation and policy applications of the AEDI. This thesis comprises a series of three chapters reporting on the validation of the AEDI, and two chapters showing how the data can be used to inform public health policy. AIMS: This thesis had two overarching aims. The first was to investigate the construct, concurrent and predictive validity of the AEDI. The second aim was to investigate the applicability of population wide AEDI data to policy.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2012|