Max Rady College of Medicine

Term: Early Development Instrument (EDI)

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Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2019-06-13


The Early Development Instrument (EDI) "is a 103- item questionnaire completed by kindergarten teachers in the second half of the school year that measures children’s ability to meet age-appropriate developmental expectations in five general domains; physical health and well-being; social competence; emotional maturity; language and cognitive development; and communication skills and general knowledge."

Source: Offord Centre for Child Studies - Early Development Instrument Web Site - What is the EDI? web page - accessed June 13, 2019.

The EDI is designed to measure population-level developmental health (skills and behaviours) in the early childhood period. The main focus is on children who are classified as being "vulnerable" - a low score ("below the 10th percentile cut-off of the comparison population") in any one of the five domains.

NOTE: Over time, the terminology used when discussing the EDI has changed. In the earliest MCHP research using the EDI, the "vulnerable" category - scoring in the bottom 10th percentile of at least one EDI domain - was referred to as being "not ready for school". This category should now be referred to as "vulnerable" or "developmentally vulnerable".
For more detailed information about the EDI, please read the Early Development Instrument (EDI) Outcomes concept.

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Term used in 

  • Brownell M, Chartier M, Santos R, Ekuma O, Au W, Sarkar J, MacWilliam L, Burland E, Koseva I, Guenette W. How are Manitoba's Children Doing? Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2012. [Report] [Summary] [Updates and Errata] [Additional Materials] (View)
  • Brownell M, Chartier M, Au W, MacWilliam L, Schultz J, Guenette W, Valdivia J. The Educational Outcomes of Children in Care in Manitoba. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2015. [Report] [Summary] [Additional Materials] (View)
  • Chartier M, Finlayson G, Prior H, McGowan K, Chen H, de Rocquigny J, Walld R, Gousseau M. Health and Healthcare Utilization of Francophones in Manitoba. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2012. [Report] [Summary] (View)
  • Santos R, Brownell M, Ekuma O, Mayer T, Soodeen R-A. The Early Development Instrument (EDI) in Manitoba: Linking Socioeconomic Adversity and Biological Vulnerability at Birth to Children's Outcomes at Age 5. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2012. [Report] [Summary] (View)
  • Smith M, Finlayson G, Martens P, Dunn J, Prior H, Taylor C, Soodeen RA, Burchill C, Guenette W, Hinds A. Social Housing in Manitoba. Part II: Social Housing and Health in Manitoba: A First Look. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2013. [Report] [Summary] (View)

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