Why is the EDI Important?
Would it surprise you to know that 30% of BC’s children entering kindergarten are vulnerable?
In my last blog I told you about Dr. Clyde Hertzman winning Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year for his work in Early Childhood Development. Clyde is the Director of HELP (Human Early Learning Partnership) at UBC.
Much of HELP’s work in the past 10 years has been focused on gathering information about the state of our children’s well being. To do this they use the Early Development Instrument (EDI).
The EDI is completed for each kindergarten child in BC by their teacher.
The EDI does not assess individual children. The results in a neighbourhood are rolled up together which gives us information about how neighbourhoods of children are doing upon entering school. It looks at 5 developmental areas.
- physical health and well-being
- social competence
- emotional maturity
- language and cognitive development
- communication skills
The EDI can identify where there is a large percentage of children who are vulnerable, in other words who do not have the basic skills they should have when entering school; skills such as holding a pencil, climbing stairs, being able to identify some numbers and letters.
By learning where neighbourhoods of children are vulnerable, we can better plan early childhood supports and services.
If a neighbourhood shows a high level of vulnerability in the physical health and well-being area, then they can look at what services may be lacking, (parks, recreation centres, low income families without access to enough food) and work to improve those circumstances.
Success By 6 and Children First community tables use EDI results in planning.
If you would like to see how children in your school district are doing check out the reports & maps on the HELP website.