Early Development Index

Edit Article


The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a population level measure of children’s development or well-being developed by Magdalena Janus and Dan Offord at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. The instrument is largely based on the National [Canadian] Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, and other existing tests. The EDI combines several areas that have been identified as relevant to children’s school readiness: physical health and well-being, social competence, approaches to learning, emotional maturity, language development, cognitive development, communication skills, and general knowledge. The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a relatively short and easy to administer tool. Its results can be aggregated to various levels and therefore easily lends themselves to linkages with other population and community data[1].The EDI is used in Canada. Early Childhood is considered a crucial period in a child’s development.


The Australian Early Development Index is a successor of the EDI. There is also rising interest for the EDI in the United States[2].

Early Development Instrument

What is the Early Development Instrument (EDI)?

  • EDI developed in Canada by the Offord Centre for Child Studies
  • Teacher-completed checklist on children’s development measured in spring of kindergarten
  • Data is aggregated to a group level (school, neighborhood, city, etc) to provide a population- based measure of children’s development
  • EDI is not reported at the child or class level and is not used as a diagnostic tool for individual children
  • Fills important information gap in US since early development is not consistently measured across schools, districts or communities

What does EDI measure?

  • Five developmental domains
  • Physical health and well-being
  • Social competence
  • Emotional maturity
  • Language and cognitive development
  • Communication skills and general knowledge
  • EDI is linked to child-level demographics
  • Potential to link EDI with parent information

To access the full pdf, click here

See also


  1. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20368532~menuPK:435390~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367~isCURL:Y,00.html
  2. http://www.healthychild.ucla.edu/EDI.asp

External links

Presentation of the EDI by Magdalena Janus, PhD, at the World Bank, Washington DC, 2005.

Brief Description of the EDI by the Canadian Government.

Maps of pan-Canadian EDI results Link collection on early childhood research on Childwatch International Research Network