Resources

The Five EDI Developmental Domains


Physical Health and Well-being

Measures motor development, energy levels, preparedness for the school day and restroom independence. E.g., Can the child hold a pencil? Is the child able to manipulate objects? Is the child on time for school?

Number of items in questionnaire: 13

Social Competence

Measures behavior in structured environments including cooperation, respect for others and socially responsible behavior. E.g., Is the child able to follow class routines? Is the child self-confident? Is the child eager to read a new book?

Number of items in questionnaire: 26

Emotional Maturity

Measures behaviors in less formal environments focusing on helping others, tolerance and demonstrating empathy. E.g., Does the child comfort a child who is crying or upset? Does the child help clean up a mess?

Number of items in questionnaire: 30

Language and Cognitive Development

Measures an interest in books, reading, language skills, literacy and math-related activities. E.g., Is the child interested in reading and writing? Can the child count and recognize numbers? Is the child able to read simple sentences?

Number of items in questionnaire: 26

Communication Skills and General Knowledge

Measures the ability to clearly communicate one’s own needs, participate in storytelling, and general interest in the world. E.g., Can the child tell a story? Can the child communicate with adults and children? Can the child take part in imaginative play?

Number of items in questionnaire: 8

EDI Developmental Subdomains


When reviewing the subdomain data, it is important to keep the following considerations in mind:

  • When looking at the subdomain maps, it is very important to understand that, unlike the domain maps that are norm referenced, these maps do not reflect concentrations of vulnerability. Instead, the subdomain maps are criterion referenced and reflect percentages that fall below a cutoff established by the EDI’s publisher.

  • The subdomain analysis categorizes the EDI data as: “meeting few/no developmental expectations,” “meeting some developmental expectations,” and “meeting all/almost all developmental expectations.” These categories were established by the developers of the EDI at McMaster University’s Offord Centre for Child Studies.

  • These EDI results should not be viewed as a sole indicator of whether a percentage of the children in this community are or are not meeting all/almost all developmental expectations.

  • Since they are determined using different procedures, the percentages for the subdomains do not correspond to the percentages for the categories used at the domain level (“vulnerable,” “at risk,” and “on track”).

  • The Illinois State Board of Education has established Kindergarten Learning Standards and is using an individual assessment, the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) to gauge kindergarteners’ school readiness.

Subdomains and Items

Physical Health and Well-being Subdomains

Gross & Fine Motor Skills

  • Level of energy during school day
  • Holds small objects like pens
  • Manipulates objects
  • Climbs stairs
  • Overall physical development

Physical Independence

  • Independent in washroom habits
  • Has an established hand preference
  • Well coordinated
  • Sucks a thumb/finger

Physical Readiness for the School Day

  • Over or underdressed for school
  • Too tired/sick
  • Late
  • Hungry

Social Competence Subdomains

Overall Social Competence

  • Overall social/emotional development
  • Gets along with peers
  • Cooperates with other children
  • Plays with various children
  • Shows self confidence

Approaches to Learning

  • Listens attentively
  • Follows directions
  • Completes work on time
  • Works independently
  • Works neatly and carefully
  • Solves own day-to-day problems
  • Follows one-step instructions
  • Follows class routines
  • Adjust to changes in routine

Readiness to Explore New Things

  • Curious about the world
  • Eager to play with a new toy
  • Eager to play with a new game
  • Eager to engage with a new book

Respect & Responsibility

  • Respects others’ property
  • Follows rules and instructions
  • Demonstrates self-control
  • Demonstrates respect for adults
  • Demonstrates respect for children
  • Accepts responsibility for actions
  • Takes care of school materials
  • Tolerates other children’s mistakes

Emotional Maturity Subdomains

Aggressive Behavior

  • Gets into physical fights
  • Bullies or is mean
  • Kicks, bites, or hits others
  • Takes others’ things
  • Laughs at others’ discomfort
  • Is disobedient
  • Has temper tantrums

Anxious & Fearful Behavior

  • Is upset when left by parent
  • Seems unhappy or depressed
  • Appears fearful or anxious
  • Appears worried
  • Cries a lot
  • Is nervous, high-strung, or tense
  • Is incapable of making decisions
  • Is shy

Hyperactive & Inattentive Behavior

  • Is restless
  • Is distractible
  • Fidgets
  • Is impulsive
  • Has difficulty taking turns
  • Has difficulty settling down
  • Is inattentive

Prosocial & Helping Behavior

  • Helps someone who is hurt
  • Volunteers to help with others’ mess
  • Tries to stop a quarrel
  • Helps other children with hard tasks
  • Comforts a child who is crying/upset
  • Helps others with dropped objects
  • Invites bystanders to join in a game
  • Helps children who are sick

Language and Cognitive Development Subdomains

Basic Literacy

  • Handles a book
  • Identifies 10 or more letters
  • Attaches sounds to letters
  • Shows awareness of rhyming words
  • Takes part in group reading
  • Experiments with writing tools
  • Aware of writing directions in English
  • Writes own name in English

Advanced Literacy

  • Reads simple words
  • Reads complex words
  • Reads simple sentences
  • Writes simple words
  • Writes simple sentences
  • Writes voluntarily

Basic Numeracy

  • Sorts and classifies objects
  • Uses one-to-one correspondence
  • Counts to 20
  • Recognizes numbers from 1 to 10
  • Says which of two numbers is bigger
  • Recognizes geometric shapes
  • Understands simple time concepts

Interest in Literacy, Numeracy & Memory

  • Interested in books
  • Interested in reading
  • Remembers things easily
  • Interested in mathematics
  • Interested in number games

Communication Skills and General Knowledge

  • Does not have subdomains

Subdomain descriptions based on: Early Development Instrument domains and subdomains. Offord Centre for Child Studies. Hamilton, ON: McMaster University.