What is the EDI?

The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a short questionnaire given to kindergarten teachers to complete about their students. It measures children’s ability to meet age-appropriate developmental expectations and is used across Canada and internationally.

The EDI is completed by teachers in the second half of the kindergarten year (February/March). At that point teachers have had enough time to get to know your child and your child has had time to get used to school.

The EDI covers five areas of your child’s development:

Physical Health and Well-Being

Icons_EDI Phys

  • 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
Icons_EDI Soc

  •  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
Icons_EDI Emo

  • 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
Icons_EDI LanCog

  • 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
Icons_EDI Comm

  • 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. ƒ
  • 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

What can the EDI tell us about child development?

The instrument collects individual children’s data but reports information for groups of children in order to:

  1. assess the strengths and deficits in students,
  2. report on populations of children in different communities, and
  3. provide a starting point for monitoring children’s future development.

Your child’s name is NOT on the questionnaire. We will never release your child’s individual data. We will always group the EDI completed for your child with those completed for other children within the same neighbourhood, community, school board, or even province. We will also group the data by gender or age. More information on your child’s privacy is available online.

The Offord Centre for Child Studies, at McMaster University, collects and processes most of the EDI data. If you have any questions about the EDI please visit our helpful FAQ section or ask us directly by contacting edisrl@mcmaster.ca.

* EDI domain logos were originally created by the Knowledge Translation team at the Human Early Learning Partnership and are reproduced with permission.