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Early Development Index (EDI)

What is the Early Development Index (EDI)?

The Early Development Index, or the EDI for short, is a questionnaire completed by kindergarten teachers in the second half of the school year that measures children’s ability to meet age-appropriate developmental expectations in five general domains:

Physical Health and Well-Being

  • A child doing well is physically ready for a new day at school, is generally independent, and has excellent motor skills.

  • A child doing poorly has inadequate fine and gross motor skills, is sometimes tired or hungry, is usually clumsy, and may have fading energy levels.

  • Sample EDI question: Would you say that this child is well-coordinated? (moves without running into things or tripping over things)

Social Competence

  •  A child doing well never or very rarely has a problem getting along, working, or playing with other children; is respectful to adults, is self-confident, and is able to follow class routines; and is capable of helping others.
  •  A child doing poorly has poor overall social skills; does not get along with other children on a regular basis, does not accept responsibility for his or her own actions, has difficulties following rules and class routines, being respectful of adults, children, and others’ property; has low self-confidence and self-control, does not adjust well to change; and is usually unable to work independently.
  • Sample EDI question: Would you say that this child is able to follow one-step instructions?

Emotional Maturity

  • A child doing well almost never shows aggressive, anxious, or impulsive behavior; has good concentration, and often helps other children.
  • A child doing poorly has regular problems managing aggressive behavior; is prone to disobedience and/or is easily distracted, inattentive, and impulsive; usually does not help other children, and is sometimes upset when left by their caregiver.
  •  Sample EDI question: Would you say that this child comforts a child who is crying or upset?

Language and Cognitive Development

  • A child doing well is interested in books, reading and writing, and basic math; is capable of reading and writing simple sentences and complex words, and is able to count and recognize numbers and shapes. ƒ

  • A child doing poorly has problems in reading/writing and with numbers; is unable to read and write simple words, is uninterested in trying, and is often unable to attach sounds to letters; has difficulty remembering things, counting to 20, and recognizing and comparing numbers; and is usually not interested in numbers.
  • Sample EDI question: Would you say that this child is able to read simple words?

Communication Skills and General Knowledge

  • A child doing well has excellent communication skills, can tell a story and communicate with both children and adults, and has no problems with articulation. 
  • A child doing poorly has poor communication skills and articulation; has a limited command of English (or the language of instruction), has difficulties talking to others, understanding, and being understood; and has poor general knowledge.
  • Sample EDI question: How would you rate this child’s ability to tell a story?

How is EDI Different?

  • EDI does not report results on the individual child.  

  • The EDI is not a tool to assess schools’ or teachers’ effectiveness. 

  • It provides information for the community to look back to identify how it can improve conditions for young children before they reach kindergarten.

  • Look back – to assess how the community can better support early childhood development; and

  • Look forward – to address the needs of incoming kindergarten students as they move through school.