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Understanding DC's Data on Young Children

EDI: A Community-Level Tool

Data Collection

EDI Domains

Exploring EDI Outcomes

Acting on Early Childhood Data

A Community-level Tool

Early childhood experiences shape a child’s health and behavior across a lifetime. From research, we know high-quality exposure and community conditions promote thriving children and strong developmental outcomes. Children’s early experiences – on the bus, at home, at child care, at the doctor’s office, at the store – impact their later development. If nurturing, these experiences can provide a safe and supportive environment that enables social and academic success.


Developed at the Offord Center at McMaster University, the EDI has been used for years in communities across the United States and Canada, and nationwide in Australia.


There is extensive research on the EDI as a valid and reliable tool for 4-year-olds to 6-year-olds. Research in Canada indicates a vulnerability on any domain is predictive at a population-level of children’s later school success in 3rd and 4th grades. 


Residents, parents, teachers, and other community stakeholders can use this information to examine and build conditions for success in school and life. The EDI looks at the whole population of children in a neighborhood to improve the systems for all.

It is not a diagnostic tool or screener for individual children. EDI is not used to evaluate individual teachers or programs, nor will student-identifying data be shared.


The EDI is a tool to help us, as a city, positively influence entire populations of young children. 


As you consider impacting your community, use the campaign resources for sparking action in your own context.