THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT INSTRUMENT
In 2010, The Early Years Institute introduced to Long Island an innovative school readiness assessment tool called the Early Development Instrument (EDI), in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and United Way Worldwide. Westbury was selected as the initial site for our region and has been joined by 30 other communities throughout the country.
This tool was developed by researchers from the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University, along with kindergarten teachers and principals.
Where Is It Used?
It is currently mandated in the public education system throughout Canada and Australia and is used in New Zealand, Chile, Holland and Jamaica. The state of Texas recently agreed to use the EDI as their kindergarten assessment tool.
What Is Included in the EDI?
The EDI is a two-part, school readiness assessment approach that combines a 120-item checklist completed by kindergarten teachers about five months into the school year. Teachers reflect on the “whole child:” 1) physical health and well-being; 2) social knowledge and competence; 3) emotional health and maturity; 4) language and cognitive development; and 5) general knowledge and communications skills.
How Are the Data Reported?
No individual child is identified on the EDI or shared with researchers. The data are not reported back by student, classroom or school. Instead, the data are reported by neighborhood which helps the community focus on specific areas of need in specific neighborhoods.
How Is the Community Engaged?
The EDI Leadership Team is an essential part of the EDI Project. It includes key stakeholders within the community, such as the school, business, pediatricians, library, clergy, and social service agencies. It also includes residents of neighborhoods in Westbury who care about children. The members of the Leadership Team meet quarterly to help identify assets in the community, review the EDI data results and explore possible needed interventions to put into place that will help children succeed in school.
This initiative also calls for the use of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD). This strategy helps identify organizational expertise and assets as well as individual gifts and talents.
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