EDI Parent and Guardian Resources

What is the Early Development Instrument?

The Early Development Instrument (EDI) questionnaire has 104 questions and measures five core areas of early child development that are known to be good predictors of adult health, education and social outcomes.

The EDI questionnaire is completed by kindergarten teachers from across British Columbia for all children in their classes. They are filled out in February, after teachers have had the chance to get to know their students. This ensures that teachers are able to answer the questions knowledgeably. 

Parent and Guardian Informed Passive Consent Letters

Letters are sent to all parents and guardians of participating classes in December of each year. The letters include information about the Early Development Instrument (EDI) project as well as HELP staff contact information in case parents and guardians have any questions. Letters are available in twelve languages:


In addition to the Parent and Guardian Informed Passive Consent Letters, HELP produces an annual EDI Newsletter that provides information about the EDI and what we are learning from the data we are collecting.

The EDI is voluntary

The EDI research study is voluntary.  Once a school district has signed on, the schools, teachers, and parents/guardians are able to choose whether or not they participate. If a parent or guardian does not wish his or her child to participate in the study, they can simply inform their teacher or they can contact the EDI team directly. 

The EDI uses passive consent

Consistent with UBC research ethics board guidelines, the EDI collection process uses passive consent.  Passive consent is common in population health studies because it is not often feasible to get the active consent of a large population. With passive consent, parents and guardians are fully informed on the nature of the project and the use of the data but they do not have to actively complete a consent form. HELP provides detailed introduction letters to all parents and guardians in 12 languages. Any parent or guardian who does not want their child involved has four weeks following the receipt of the letter to notify their teacher or the EDI team. Their child will be completely withdrawn from the study.

Personal information

When teachers complete the EDI questionnaire they use a child's date of birth as an identifier so that they don't duplicate records for a student.  Personal Education Numbers are used as a unique identifier to allow EDI data to be linked with other administrative data sets.  Linking the EDI data to other databases provides insights into groups of children's health and answers important research questions. Postal codes are collected to facilitate neighbourhood level mapping of the results. EDI results are shared by way of maps and reports.

Safeguarding EDI data

Safeguarding data is a responsibility HELP takes very seriously. Please visit our Safeguarding Personal Information page to learn more about how HELP safeguards research data and protects the confidentiality and privacy of individuals.

A population-level research tool

Although Kindergarten teachers complete an EDI questionnaire for each of their students, the results are not used to assess individual children, nor are they used to rank teachers, neighbourhoods, schools or school districts in any way. The EDI is a population-level research tool. As such, it measures developmental change or trends for populations of children at varied geographies: provincial, regional, neighbourhood.

Introduction to the EDI - Video


EDI Fact Sheets

The Early Development Instrument - 2019 
Vulnerability on the EDI - 2019 


EDI: Benefits to Children, Families and Communities (2008) - Video