Explore the Campaign


Understanding DC's Data on Young Children

EDI: A Community-Level Tool

Data Collection

EDI Domains

Exploring EDI Outcomes


Acting on Early Childhood Data



Exploring the Citywide & Neighborhood EDI Outcomes


The Early Development Instrument (EDI) outcomes show the strengths of DC’s young children, but also the deep inequity between and among neighborhoods. The EDI outcomes can guide informed citywide and neighborhood-level decisions on the resources, programs, and policies that will help ensure all of our children are ready to learn and thrive in school and in life. 

+ How is vulnerability calculated?

As a population-level measure, the EDI data shows us a snapshot by DC neighborhood cluster of where children are most vulnerable. While some neighborhood clusters show more significant proportions of vulnerability, there are vulnerable children in every neighborhood in DC.

Vulnerable children are those who, without additional support and care, are more likely to experience challenges in their school years and beyond. Vulnerability is assessed for each of the five EDI domains. Children whose scores fall below the vulnerability cutoff on a particular EDI scale are said to be vulnerable in that area of development.

The EDI data is presented in three ranges: vulnerable, at risk, and on track.

  • This is assessed on a nationally normed distribution scale: the lowest 10% of children measured are considered vulnerable, students within the 10-25% range are “at risk”, and children above the 25 percentile are “on track.”
  • NOTE: DC children measured were in pre-K 4, while the national normed data set is made up of kindergarten students.
  • Cutoffs for nationally normed scale:
    • Vulnerable: If the mean score of their EDI items falls at or below the 10th percentile cutoff. Children are at risk for problems in later childhood and, without additional supports and care, may experience future challenges in school and society.
    • At risk: Children are not vulnerable, but they are “at risk” for becoming vulnerable. Considering the segment of at-risk children helps us keep in mind populations of children who could use additional supports. The mean score is between the 10th and 25th percentile.
    • On track: Children are meeting developmental milestones and are expected to be successful. The mean score is above the 25th percentile.

+ Which neighborhoods am I viewing?

We can use EDI to have place-specific conversations about neighborhood and community conditions. DC has 8 wards and 39 neighborhood clusters. The Early Development Instrument data is geocoded to where children live, allowing us to consider actions we can take locally.

+ Explore all of the domain maps

Click each map to expand:


The language and cognitive development domain has a subdomain – advanced literacy – that has items, such as “able to read simple sentences” or “able to write simple sentences” that more closely align with Common Core Kindergarten standards than DC’s Early Learning Standards. Please keep this nuance in mind when interpreting the language and cognitive development domain.

+ View the Ward-level EDI data

Ward-level outcomes

+ Citywide patterns of vulnerability

This chart describes overall proportions of children Districtwide who are vulnerable, at risk, and on track in each of the five domains.

You can see four out of the five domains, DC’s pre-K 4 aged children are on track. This tells an overall positive story about the overall population of young children in the District. However, honing in on the inequity by neighborhood using the detailed maps tells a fuller story.

As you view this data, ask yourself about your own experiences and knowledge. What are the city conditions supporting resilience among children and families in your neighborhood and across the city? Utilize our resources to put your ideas into action.

NOTE: DC has the highest percentage of children vulnerable and at risk in the language and cognitive development domain. This is largely driven by the advanced literacy subdomain, which reflects Common Core Kindergarten standards rather than Pre-K Early Learning Standards.

+ Explore Raise DC's Progress Report

Want to view more citywide data beyond these maps? Visit Raise DC's Kindergarten Readiness Progress Report for the EDI data disaggregated in different ways. View the data

+ Subdomain data

Click each map to expand:


In the subdomains, children are categorized as “not ready”, “somewhat ready,” or “ready” for school. One way to look at this data is through analyzing subdomains; another way is to review the domains. The two are calculated differently (norm-referenced versus criterion-referenced) and, therefore, the categories cannot be compared. However, each category shares valuable information to inform the change we seek for our community.

Check out the Acting on Early Childhood Data page to download the full subdomain PowerPoint presentation.

With knowledge of these trends among DC’s children, how will you act? Share back your action plans with Our Children, Our Community, Our Change to inspire others!