TARGet Kids! (TK!) is a multi-disciplinary paediatric practice-based research network based out of The Hospital for Sick Children and Unity Health Toronto. TK! has been operating since 2008, collecting information on child development with a goal to prevent health problems.
One set of data that TK! collects is the Early Development Instrument (EDI). By using the EDI with our health and outcome measurement data collected in TK!, we are able to draw important connections with how health behaviours impact school readiness.
We are in the early stages of EDI collection for the 2022-2023 school year. To date, we’ve collected over 1300 surveys from 650 teachers in approximately 350 schools and across 15 school boards, TK!. With your help, we can build on the available information that may be used to support health and developmental care for children in primary care.
Read some of our recent publications to see the information that TK! is uncovering thanks to the EDI:
- Vanderloo LM, Janus M, Omand JA, et al. Children’s screen use and school readiness at 4-6 years: prospective cohort study. BMC Public Health. 2022; 22:382. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-12629-8
- Vanderloo LM, Omand J, Keown-Stoneman CDG, et al. Association Between Physical Activity, Screen Time and Sleep, and School Readiness in Canadian Children Aged 4 to 6 Years. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2022;43(2):96-103. https://doi.org/10.1097/DBP.0000000000000986
- Omand JA, Li X, Keown-Stoneman CDG, et al. Body Weight at Age Four Years and Readiness to Start School: A Prospective Cohort Study [published online ahead of print, 2022 Jul 13]. Child Obes. 2022. https://doi.org/10.1089/chi.2022.0018
- Omand JA, Janus M, Maguire JL, et al. Nutritional Risk in Early Childhood and School Readiness. J Nutr. 2021;151(12):3811-3819. https://.org/doi:10.1093/jn/nxab307
In May to July 2020, our team conducted a survey of kindergarten educators asking about their experience with transition to online learning. The educators told us that the largest barrier to learning was the ability of both parents and educators to balance work, home life, and online learning/teaching – something that is still very true, even a year and half later. Read the details here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10643-021-01304-z
New publication by Dr. Magdalena Janus called, “Population-Level Data on Child Development at School Entry Reflecting Social Determinants of Health: A Narrative Review of Studies Using the Early Development Instrument.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33805965/
In 2019 Dr. Janus collaborated with UCLA on a paper entitled: Measuring Equity From The Start: Disparities In The Health Development Of US Kindergartners which was recently accepted and published in the Journal of Health Affairs. This paper examined the potential health inequalities of kindergarten aged children in regards to neighbourhood income and race/ethnicity data. https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00920
In the Spring of 2020, we developed and implemented a survey: Hidden Future Front Line: Educators’ perspective on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on kindergarten children (HIFLEC). In this study, using an online survey, we asked kindergarten educators about the realities of distance learning, their concerns for the return to school, as well as about their own health. The overarching aim of this study is to establish a scope of challenges and facilitators of psychosocial adjustment during the transition back to school-based learning for the youngest students, their families, and their educators. The data have been collated and reports generated and shared with all our partners. Copies of the reports can be found here: https://edi.offordcentre.com/about/current-research-projects/