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Child Vulnerability

Definition:

Percentage of kindergarten children who are vulnerable on at least one or more of the five scales of the Early Development Instrument.

Methods and Limitations:

The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a questionnaire to better understand the development of kindergarten children. It is designed as a population-level monitoring questionnaire and is not intended for screening or diagnosing individual children.

The EDI questionnaire has 103 questions that gather data about five core areas (called scales) that are important to early child development and are good predictors of health, education and social outcomes in adolescence and adulthood. The EDI scales are physical health and well-being, language and cognitive development, communication skills and general knowledge, emotional maturity, and social competence.

Vulnerable children are those who, without additional support and care, are more likely to experience future challenges in their school years and beyond. Vulnerability is determined using a cut-off for each EDI scale. The percentage of children who are vulnerable on each scale is reported as a vulnerability rate.

Vulnerability rates are reported for each of the five scales and as a summary measure representing children who are vulnerable on one or more scales. Children captured by the summary measure may be vulnerable on only one scale, or may be experiencing vulnerabilities on two, three, four or all five scales of the EDI.

The EDI questionnaire is completed by kindergarten teachers in February of the school year, for each student in their class. The questionnaire is completed online, based on the teachers’ daily observations of their students since the start of the school year.

Participation in the EDI is voluntary. Parents and caregivers receive information about the project one month in advance and can withdraw their child if they choose. Teachers participate in a standardized training session prior to completing the EDI questionnaires.

EDI data is collected on a three-year schedule called a “wave” to capture sufficient data in all school districts in the province. Large school districts participate in just one of the years in a wave, usually in the first or second year. Smaller school districts will participate in multiple years of a wave to ensure that the total number of children per neighbourhood in a wave is sufficiently high to allow a reasonable determination of change over time.

EDI data are reported for school districts and their neighbourhoods based on children’s home postal codes and include all children who live within the school district boundaries. EDI data are collected from public schools and participating independent and First Nations schools.

Data are suppressed for school districts and neighbourhoods with fewer than 35 kindergarten children to protect children’s privacy and to ensure the data displays a reliable and valid picture of child development in the area.

In British Columbia, EDI data is collected province-wide by the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), an interdisciplinary research institute based at the School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of British Columbia. Since 2001, HELP has collected EDI data for over 330,000 kindergarten children across eight provincial waves of data collection.

Source(s):

Human Early Learning Partnership. Early Development Instrument [EDI] report. Wave 7 Community Profile, 2019. Greater Victoria School District (SD61). Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health; February 2020. http://earlylearning.ubc.ca/media/edi_w7_ communityprofiles/edi_w7_communityprofile_sd_61.pdf

Human Early Learning Partnership. Early Development Instrument [EDI] report. Wave 7 Community Profile, 2019. Sooke School District (SD62). Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health; February 2020. http://earlylearning.ubc.ca/media/edi_w7_communityprofiles/edi_w7_communityprofile_sd_62.pdf

Human Early Learning Partnership. Early Development Instrument [EDI] report. Wave 7 Community Profile, 2019. Saanich School District (SD63). Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health; February 2020. http://earlylearning.ubc.ca/media/edi_w7_ communityprofiles/edi_w7_communityprofile_sd_63.pdf

Human Early Learning Partnership. Early Development Instrument [EDI] report. Wave 7 Community Profile, 2019. Gulf Islands School District (SD64). Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health; February 2020. http://earlylearning.ubc.ca/media/edi_w7_ communityprofiles/edi_w7_communityprofile_sd_64.pdf

Data is updated on Vital Victoria as it becomes available from the data providers.

 
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