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1301.6.55.001 - Tasmanian Statistical News, Mar 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/03/2009   
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WHAT'S NEW


THE AUSTRALIAN EARLY DEVELOPMENT INDEX (AEDI)

What?

The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) is a population measure of how young children are developing in different Australian communities. The index is based on the Canadian Early Development Instrument and measures five developmental domains:

  • physical health and wellbeing
  • social competence
  • emotional maturity
  • language and cognitive skills
  • communication and general knowledge

The primary output of the AEDI national implementation project will be community profiles of early childhood development measured against the five developmental domains. The profiles will be published online at community, state/territory and national levels by the end of 2009.


Who?

The index is endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) as a national progress measure of early childhood development and the Federal Government has provided funding for nation-wide implementation.


When?

The index will be completed in Tasmanian schools and across Australia between May - July 2009.


Why?

The AEDI delivers essential information about early childhood development and provides insights into how children’s community and social environments affects their outcomes. This information enables communities and governments to pinpoint the types of services, resources and supports young children and their families need to give children the best possible start in life, and to evaluate community efforts to improve the life chances for Australia’s children.


How?

The AEDI is derived from a teacher-completed checklist. All teachers of children in their first year of formal full-time schooling will be asked to complete the AEDI checklist.

The AEDI will produce a rich body of data about Tasmanian children, with significant potential for further analysis and research. More information is available from the AEDI website www.aedi.org.au or from the Tasmanian AEDI coordinator, Mrs Sally Giacon by phone: (03) 6233 7795 or by email: aedi@education.tas.gov.au.


KIDS COME FIRST BLUEPRINT: A WHOLE OF GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE

The Kids Come First Blueprint is a project to develop an outcomes-based framework for children. Initiated by the Tasmanian Government, it contains key indicators of health, wellbeing, safety, development and learning. These indicators reflect the influences of services available for children, families, and communities. The project will provide the Government with a comprehensive way of monitoring how Tasmania’s children and young people (from birth to 18 years) are faring. It will also more accurately identify where additional action and support are needed.

Key outcomes data and community profiles will be used to create a map of local areas, demonstrating their relative strengths and weaknesses and the contributing factors to these. The intended outcome of the project is improved health, wellbeing and educational outcomes for all Tasmanian children from birth to eighteen years, by more efficient targeting of services and resources. Recommendations on improving access, equity, and targeting of services to areas of need, will then be delivered to government. The implementation of the recommendations will contribute to improved social inclusion outcomes, and aid the development of innovative models of service delivery.

The project will be completed by the end of June 2009. It builds on the work of The Tasmanian Early Years Foundation which has been developing similar indicators for children 0-5 years since June 2007. The project has also drawn on the experience of Victoria, and acknowledges the generous support of the Victorian Office for Children (now the Department of Education and Early Child Development).


Tasmanian Child Health and Wellbeing Survey

In developing the outcomes framework for the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation and Kids Come First, it became clear that there were no data sources for several critical indicators, including many relating to social inclusion. A computer assisted telephone survey of 1,200 households with children under 12 years has been designed to cover these gaps. The survey will be conducted during March 2009, and completed by Easter 2009.

For further information on either the Kids Come First Blueprint or the Tasmanian Child and Health Wellbeing Survey, please phone Dr Sue Jenkins, Department Health and Human Services - Disability, Child, Youth and Family Services, Hobart, on (03) 6233 6244.


A PICTURE OF THE NATION

A Picture of the Nation: the Statistician's Report on the 2006 Census (cat. no. 2070.0) examines contemporary issues in Australian society with the sort of depth only made possible by the analysis of a centuries worth of population census figures.

The report looks at Australian society through two different filters - generational groups (birth cohorts such as Baby Boomers, Generation X and Y or the iGeneration) and life-cycle groups (people in similar situations such as one parent families, lone persons, families with and without children) - to discover the changes over time.

Subjects covered in The Statistician's Report include family and living arrangements, skills shortages, cultural diversity, work, economic resources and housing. Each chapter contains a broad overview and a number of feature articles about specific social issues.

Did you know?:
  • Both South Australia and Tasmania experienced low rates of growth in the 25 years to 2006. Losses due to interstate migration, primarily of young people, have resulted in older populations with lower proportions of people of child-bearing age and subsequent low levels of natural increase.
  • Of the 20 largest Urban Centres in Australia, Hobart experienced the lowest annual growth rate (0.2%) from 1996 to 2006.
  • South Australia and Tasmania had the highest proportions of older people aged 65 years and over, 15.1% and 14.6% respectively.
  • Of small Urban Centres in Tasmania, Evandale and Deloraine had the highest rates of volunteering at 30.8% and 28.4% respectively.
  • Of large Urban Centres in Tasmania, Kingston-Blackmans Bay and Hobart had the highest rates of volunteering at 25.2% and 21.4% respectively.
  • In Tasmania 70.5% of students attend government schools, 17.6% attend Catholic schools, and 11.9% attend other non-government schools.
  • The Lyell region in south-western Tasmania had one of the largest declines in labour force participation for males (from 90% to 72%). In Lyell, population ageing has resulted in a 22% decline in the number of men aged 15-64 from 1996 to 2006.
  • In 2006, Tasmania had the lowest proportion of higher income workers (23%) and the highest proportion of lower income workers (24%) of all the states and territories.
  • There were 216, 700 private dwellings in Tasmania in 2006, a 28.3% increase from 1986-2006.

The report can be downloaded free of charge from the ABS website. Alternatively you can order a hardcopy by phone, fax, email, or mail order. The help pages on the ABS website provide details on how to purchase and ABS product offline.


AUSTRALIAN SOCIAL TRENDS

We are pleased to announce that Australian Social Trends, a premier publication of the ABS will now be available electronically on a quarterly basis from the ABS website. This publication, formerly released on an annual basis, presents statistical analysis and commentary on a wide range of current social issues. Articles are organised into eight chapters, representing the following broad areas of interest:
  • population;
  • family and community;
  • health;
  • education and training;
  • work;
  • economic resources;
  • housing;
  • and a chapter of articles covering other areas of social concern.

Each chapter is supported by a set of summary tables including key social indicators which provide an overview of social change over the past decade, as well as how social conditions differ across Australian states and territories. A set of international tables also compares Australia with 17 other nations.

Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) will next be released Wednesday 25 March 2009.


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