Early Development Instrument (EDI)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a measure of children’s developmental health at school entry.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies; Interpersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

Children ages 4-7

Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration


Method of administration

Paper/Pencil, Digital

Number of items


Item format

Three-point Likert-type scale and Yes/No items

Administration time

No information is available in the references reviewed.

Available languages

English, French; for others please contact developers as approved translations exist for many languages

Fee for use Free and publicly available
Credentials required for administration

A copy of the EDI Guide should be provided to each educator respondent. In addition, a training/information session is suggested.

Overall score reporting

Overall “vulnerability,” defined as scoring below the norm-defined cut-off on at least one of the five domains.

Subscore reporting

There are five subscores:

  • Physical health and well-being
  • Social competence
  • Emotional maturity
  • Language and cognitive development
  • Communication skills and general knowledge
Scoring procedures

Scoring is conducted by the developer for a fee.

Interpretive information

Percentile cut-points are available, and norm-referenced scores (based on national results from Canada) are available for comparison. Children who score in the lowest 10th percentile in their school site on one or more domains are categorized as vulnerable.

Note: EDI is updated with current administrative information for every population-level implementation, hence versions vary from year to year and region to region. However, the "core" items used to provide domain scores and assess vulnerability remain consistent.

Evidence of Technical Quality
Populations for which technical quality evidence has been collected

Evidence is based on a Canadian normed sample, a countrywide sample of over 300,000 4 to 5 years old children from Canada. EDI data have also been collected nationally in Australia, known there under the name Australian Early Development Census, or AEDC (or AEDI previously), and in various communities in the U.S. and internationally (Janus, M., & Reid-Westoby, C., 2016).

Reliability evidence

Internal consistency (alpha) ranged from 0.84 to 0.96. Test-retest reliability coefficients ranged from 0.82 to 0.94. Inter-rater reliability (as measured by correlation of school-teacher and daycare teacher scores, as well as parent-teacher scores) ranged from 0.36-0.80 (Janus et al., 2007).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
EDI items were developed by expert panels that included educators, researchers, and community program and service providers.
Evidence based on response processes
Items were pilot tested and refined during the 1998-1999 school year.
Evidence based on internal structure
Please see: (Janus et al., 2007).
Evidence based on relations with other variables
Scores correlated in the anticipated direction with other measures of receptive vocabulary and non-verbal language assessments, as well as cognitive and language development (Janus et al., 2007). Scores also correlated in the anticipated direction with other measures of physical health, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, and communication skills captured at the end of second grade, three years after the initial EDI administration (Janus et al., 2007). Other recent work has shown that kindergarten EDI scores predicted first grade academic outcomes (Forget-Dubois et al., 2007), (Silburn, S. et al., 2007), (Brinkman, S. et al., 2013), etc. See: edi.offordcentre.com
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure edi.offordcentre.com

Bibliography of EDI publications can be found (currently over 60 papers): https://edi.offordcentre.com/resources/bibliography-of-the-edi/

Janus, M., & Offord, D. R. , "Development and psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument (EDI): A measure of children's school readiness," Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2007, pp. 1–22.

Janus, M., & Reid-Westoby, C. "Monitoring the development of all children: The Early Development Instrument," Early Childhood Matters, Vol. 125, No. 1, 2016, pp. 40–45.

Forget-Dubois, N., Lemelin, J.-P., Boivin, M., Dionne, G., Seguin, J. R., Vitaro, F., & Tremblay, R. E. "Predicting early school achievement with the Early Development Instrument: A longitudinal population-based study," Early Education and Development, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2007, pp. 405–426.


The EDI is completed by educators for individual students. Individual-level data and scores are aggregated into groups (schools, communities, children in receipt of a program, etc.). While educators complete the EDI for individual children in their classrooms, the results are not interpreted for individual children, and a score cannot be used to diagnose a problem.

Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.