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)
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.