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Early Development Instrument (EDI) "from results to action survey" report

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Janus, Magdalena
Publication Date: 
12 Jun 2013

Excerpts from the executive summary:

The main goal of the EDI - From Results to Action survey was to determine whether information obtained from the EDI influenced changes in communities geared towards helping young children. EDI data provide evidence of the existence of disparities in communities by revealing weaknesses in certain groups of children within specific areas or in particular populations.

An online survey, comprised of 19 categories of community programs and projects, was sent to local coordinators in Canadian provinces and territories. The survey examined the existence of community programs as well as characteristics and changes in the coalitions at the community-level before and after administrationof the EDI.The survey was returned electronically, with a national response rate of 52%.

One of the distinct themes identified in the survey was the creation of intersectoral planning groups, ongoing cooperation among community sectors, service providers, and governments, which all used, to some degree, the EDI results as a starting point to action. Respondents indicated that the EDI had been instrumental in the development of neighbourhood-level, citizen-driven activities, such as early identification initiatives, community outreach to parents, parenting groups, and physical resources such as early childhood asset mapping. EDI results provide evidence which is then used in the allocation of community resources. EDI results were found to influence the focus of existing coalitions and as time went on, these intersectoral groups adopted the EDI as a valuable tool to support their goals at the same time as they themselves adapted to accommodate the changing policy initiatives in their regions.

Many of the EDI result-based activities described in the survey responses were targeted, for example, to a neighbourhood, a school district, a population of preschool parents or preschool children, or to another population segment considered to be disadvantaged. According to survey responses, an increased awareness of the importance of the early years has been supported by EDI data. The EDI has been frequently mentioned as providing one of the criteria for selecting programming and appropriate sites. The awareness of community factors influencing EDI results has also increased the utility of EDI data. Yet another outcome related to the EDI was professional development in the area of early learning. The EDI results have led to a change in the responsibilities and, at times, the roles of school principals. Other educators have also been participating in professional development as a consequence of the EDI results, focusing on child development.

The detailed information provided about programming and projects in this report may help some organizations with their planning as they may be able to benefit from the experiences of others. This report offers a glimpse of the myriad of programs and projects being realised with the help from data collected on early childhood development, including, but not limited to, the EDI. EDI data collection and reporting help community stakeholders and partnerships direct their planning, support their decision-making, promote and increase awareness of child development concerns in specific areas and populations, and strengthen funding and policy proposals. The survey  respondents agree that the EDI is one of the tools being used by community stakeholders wanting to improve children's lives and looking for evidence to support their decision-making.

Entered Date: 
12 Jun 2013
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