Validity and Reliability

Over a decade ago, the creators of the EDI first began assessing its usefulness for data collection to see whether it was ‘the right tool for the job’ of measuring children’s developmental health. The results strongly indicated that yes, the EDI is indeed a valid and reliable measure of children’s developmental health.

A history of the EDI’s development and its psychometric properties can be found in a 2007 paper by Drs. Magdalena Janus and Dan Offord.

  • Janus, M., & Offord, D. R. (2007). Development and psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument (EDI): A measure of children’s school readiness. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 3, 1–22. doi: 10.1037/cjbs2007001

A description of the original validity and reliability tests can also be found in the Early Development Instrument Handbook.

  • Janus, M., Brinkman, S., Duku, E., Hertzman, C., Santos, R., Sayers, M., et al. (2007). The Early Development Instrument: A population-based measure for communities. A handbook on development, properties, and use. Hamilton, ON: Offord Centre for Child Studies.

In the years since the EDI has continued to undergo rigorous analysis. A list of published papers is included for your reference.


Between group reliability

Guhn, M., Gadermann, A. & Zumbo, B.D. (2007). Does the EDI measure school readiness in the same way across different groups of children? Early Education and Development, 18(3), 453-472. Available Online.

Guhn, M., Janus, M., & Hertzman, C. (2007). The Early Development Instrument: Translating school readiness assessment into community actions and policy planning. Early Education and Development, 18, 369-374. doi: 10.1080/10409280701610622

Janus, M., & Offord, D. (2007). Development and psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument (EDI): A measure of children’s school readiness. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 39, 1–22. Available Online.

Muhajarine, N., Puchala, C., & Janus, M. (2011). Does the EDI equivalently measure facets of school readiness for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children? Social Indicators Research, 103(2), 299-314. doi: 10.1007/s11205-011-9847-0

Sam, M. A. (2011). An Indigenous knowledges perspective on valid meaning making: A commentary on research with the EDI and Aboriginal communities. Social Indicators Research, 103(2), 315-325. doi: 10.1007/s11205-011-9848-z


Construct validity

Forer, B., & Zumbo, B. (2011). Validation of multilevel constructs: validation methods and empirical findings for the EDI. Social Indicators Research, 103, 231–65. doi: 10.1007/s11205-011-9844-3

Hymel, S., Le Mare, L., & McKee, W. (2011). The Early Development Instrument (EDI): An examination of convergent and discriminant validity. Social Indicators Research, 103(2), 267-282. doi: 10.1007/s11205-011-9845-2

Janus, M., Zeraatkar, D., Duku, E., & Bennett, T. (2018). Validation of the Early Development Instrument for children with special health needs. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 1-7. doi: 10.1111/jpc.14264


Cross-cultural validity

Brinkman, S. A., Kinnell, A., Maika, A., Hasan, A., Jung, H., & Pradhan, M. (2016). Validity and reliability of the Early Development Instrument in Indonesia. Child Indicators Research,  1-22.  doi: 10.1007/s12187-016-9372-4

Brinkman, S., Silburn, S., Lawrence, D., Goldfeld, S., Sayers, M., & Oberklaid, F. (2007). Investigating the validity of the Australian Early Development Index. Early Education and Development, 18, 427–451. Available Online.

Duku, E., Janus, M., & Brinkman, S. (2015). Investigation of the cross-national equivalence of a measurement of early child development. Child Indicators Research, 8, 471-489. doi: 10.1007/s12187-014-9249-3

Ip, P., Li, S.L., Rao, N., Ng, S.S.N., Lau, W.W.S., & Chow, C.B. (2013). Validation study of the Chinese Early Development Instrument. BioMed Central Pediatrics, 13(146), 1-8. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-13-146

Janus, M., Brinkman, S. A., & Duku, E. K. (2011). Validity and psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument in Canada, Australia, United States, and Jamaica. Social Indicators Research, 103(2), 283-297. doi: 10.1007/s11205-011-9846-1


Internal consistency

Curtin, M., Madden, J., Staines, A., & Perry, I. J. (2013). Determinants of vulnerability in early childhood development in Ireland: A cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 3, e002387. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002387


Predictive validity

Brinkman, S., Gregory, T., Harris, J., Hart, B., Blackmore, S., & Janus, M. (2013). Associations between the Early Development Instrument at age 5, and reading and numeracy skills at ages 8, 10 and 12: a prospective linked data study. Child Indicators Research, 6(4), 695-708. doi: 10.1007/s12187-013-9189-3

Brown, R. S., & Parekh, G. (2010). Special education: Structural overview and student demographics. Toronto, ON: Toronto District School Board.

Calman, R. C., & Crawford, P. J. (2013). Starting Early: Teaching, learning, and assessment. Linking early-childhood development with academic outcomes—a detailed look. Toronto, ON: Education Quality and Accountability Office. Available Online.

D’Angiulli, A., Warburton, W., Dahinten, S. & Hertzman, C. (2009). Population-level associations between preschool vulnerability and grade-four basic skills. PLoS One, 4(11), e7692. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007692

Forget-Dubois, N., Lemelin, J.-P., Boivin, M., Ginette, D., Se´guin, J. R., Vitaro, F., et al. (2007). Predicting early school achievement with the EDI: A longitudinal population-based study. Early Education and Development, 18, 405–426. doi: 10.1080/10409280701610796


Rasch Analysis

Curtin, M., Browne, J., Staines, A., & Perry, I. J. (2016). The Early Development Instrument: An evaluation of its five domains using Rasch analysis. BMC Pediatrics, 16. doi: 10.1186/s12887-016-0543-8

Andrich, D., & Styles, I. (2004). Final report on the psychometric analysis of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) using the Rasch model: A technical paper commissioned for the development of the Australian Early Development Instrument (AEDI). Available Online.

Hagquist, C., & Hellström, L. (2014). The psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument: a rasch analysis based on Swedish pilot data. Social Indicators Research, 117, 301-317. doi: 10.1007/s11205-013-0344-5