What is the EDI?

The Early Development Instrument, or the EDI for short, is a questionnaire developed by Dr. Dan Offord and Dr. Magdalena Janus at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. It is a 103-item questionnaire completed by kindergarten teachers that measures children’s ability to meet age appropriate developmental expectations in five general domains.

History of the EDI

The development of the EDI started in 1997. It was finalized in 2000 and since that time it has been implemented across Canada and internationally, with data for more than 1 million children in Canada alone.

Current research projects

A list of the main research projects the EDI team is currently working on.


Meet the EDI team members who are responsible for the collection and analysis of EDI data.

Children with special needs

Children with special needs have unique challenges. Initial EDI research examined the difficulty children with special needs and their families experience when transitioning to school.


The Kindergarten Parent Survey (KPS), the parent-completed EDI companion tool, is a valuable measure of the contextual factors that can play a large role in the healthy development of children.

Tribute to Dan Offord

Dr. Dan Offord was a giant in the field of child psychiatry and was one of the co-creators of the EDI.  He devoted his life to helping children succeed in life through research, practice, and engagement with children. We are honoured and proud to have the privilege of continuing his legacy.