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.

Subdomain Descriptions

Physical Health and Well-being Subdomains

Gross & Fine Motor Skills
An excellent ability to physically tackle the school day and have excellent or good gross and fine motor skills.

Physical Independence
Independent in looking after their needs, have an established hand preference, are well coordinated, and do not suck a thumb/finger.

Physical Readiness for the School Day
Never or almost never experienced being dressed inappropriately for school activities, coming to school tired, late or hungry.

Social Competence Subdomains

Overall Social Competence
Excellent or good overall social development, very good ability to get along with other children and play with various children, usually cooperative and self-confident.

Approaches to Learning
Always or most of the time work neatly, independently, and solve problems, follow instructions and class routines, easily adjust to changes.

Readiness to Explore New Things
Curious about the surrounding world, and are eager to explore new books, toys and games.

Respect & Responsibility
Always or most of the time show respect for others, and other’s property, follow rules and take care of materials, accept responsibility for actions, and show self-control.

Emotional Maturity Subdomains

Aggressive Behavior
Rarely or never show most of the aggressive behaviors; do not use aggression as a means of solving a conflict, do not have temper tantrums, and are not mean to others.

Anxious & Fearful Behavior
Rarely or never show most of the anxious behaviors; are happy and able to enjoy school, and are comfortable being left at school by caregivers.

Hyperactive & Inattentive Behavior
Never show most of the hyperactive behaviors; are able to concentrate, settle in to chosen activities, wait their turn, and most of the time think before doing something.

Prosocial & Helping Behavior
Often show most of the helping behaviors: helping someone hurt, sick or upset, offering to help spontaneously, invite bystanders to join in.

Language and Cognitive Development Subdomains

Basic Literacy
Have all the basic literacy skills: know how to handle a book, can identify some letters and attach sounds to some letters, show awareness of rhyming words, know the writing directions, and are able to write their own name.

Advanced Literacy
Have at least half of the advanced literacy skills: reading simple, complex words or sentences, writing voluntarily, writing simple words or sentences.

Basic Numeracy
Have all the basic numeracy skills: can count to 20 and recognize shapes and numbers, compare numbers, sort and classify, use one-to-one correspondence, and understand simple time concepts.

Interest in Literacy, Numeracy & Memory
Show an interest in books and reading, math and numbers, and have no difficulty with remembering things.

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