The Early Development Instrument (EDI) in British Columbia: Documenting impact and action in schools, community, and early child development
Since the Early Development Instrument (EDI) was implemented in British Columbia in 2001, many early learning initiatives have been undertaken with significant financial investment and intersectoral coalition effort. School districts have become involved in community coalitions by cooperatively planning and implementing new programs. Government has funded innovative school initiatives and extended the education mandate to include children from birth to age five. This study addresses the question of whether targeted communitybased initiatives can reduce vulnerabilities, as identified by the EDI, prior to school entry. The study investigates neighbourhoods and/or communities in 10 school districts where EDI results have identified reduced vulnerabilities. These school districts applied to be part of the study, as each believed that newly-implemented ECD programs were responsible for the improved EDI results. The study uses narrative to document promising program practices and their perceived impact on families, child development and social issues; it provides evidence of effective practice through participatory and reflective methodologies resulting in new insights for policy makers in school districts and communities.