Understanding the Early Years


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Early Development Instrument (EDI)
Family time togetherThe EDI is a questionnaire, completed by Kindergarten teachers, to gather information on five areas of child development and measures the school readiness of kindergarten children.  

It is not an assessment of individual children, but a tool to monitor populations of children over time.

The EDI was developed by the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University, which has a contractual agreement with Human Resources and Social Development Canada to manage the EDI data collection and produce reports for each UEY community.  

This data collection is done in collaboration with participating schools, school boards, and the UEY coordinator. The Lord Selkirk School Division has been completing the EDI since 2003.

Early Development Instrument
The five domains of child development that are looked at in the EDI and examples of skills that are measured are:
1.      Physical Health and Well-Being
- fine motor development
. generally refers to actions of the hands, wrists, and arms, such as using the hands and fingers to grasp and manipulate objects for activities like eating, writing, dressing, building and playing
- gross motor development
. generally refers to actions such as sitting, standing, walking, and climbing, using larger muscle groups
- levels of energy
- daily preparedness for school (tired, late, hungry)
- washroom independence

2.      Social Competence
- cooperative and respectful to others (children and adults)
- able to work within the school environment
- socially appropriate in behaviour during school activities
- self-control, self-confidence

3.      Emotional Maturity
- pro-social behaviour, helping, tolerance, empathy as opposed to aggressive behaviour, anxiety, hyperactivity, inattention, impulsiveness
- informal, peer-to-peer interaction  - as opposed to the more structured interaction measured on the social competence scale

4.      Language and Cognitive Development
- interest in books, reading, language-related activities (rhyming, group reading)
- literacy – ability to recognize letters, read and write simple words
- interest in simple math related activities
- numeracy – ability to recognize and compare numbers, count, sort, etc.

5.      Communication and general development
- ability to clearly communicate one’s own needs and understand others
- clear articulation
- active participation in story-telling (not necessarily with good grammar or syntax)

The Understanding the Early Years initiative is funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.  For further information, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca