Measuring Kindergarten Readiness in

The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a tool designed to measure children's ability to meet age appropriate developmental milestones. Once administered, school and community members can use the EDI results to get a holistic picture of children’s health, development and school readiness for an entire community in five key areas, known as domains:

  • Physical Health & Well-being
  • Social Competence
  • Emotional Maturity
  • Language & Cognitive Development
  • Communication Skills & General Knowledge

EDI results provide communities with a holistic understanding of children's developmental needs, specifically the share of children who are on track and who may need additional support.

Six happy children holding hands

How are results calculated?

  • All results across the nation are compiled and standardized.
  • Children in the lowest 10th percentile of the distribution of kids tested are ‘vulnerable’.
  • Children between the 10th and 25th percentile are ‘at risk’.
  • Children above the 25th percentile are ‘on track’ or 'ready'.

Neighborhood EDI Results by Domain

A student is considered vulnerable if their score is in the lowest 10th percentile of results.

A woman reading a book to 5 children

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Why It Matters

The science of early childhood development and the research on educational achievement that tells us that:

  • all aspects of a young child’s development are interrelated and inseparable from the well-being of the child’s family and community,
  • poverty and educational outcomes are linked,
  • and student success in school should be informed and driven by data and supported by collective action and a broad continuum of public policy activity.

Informed communities can pave the way to success

For over two decades, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, through its Early Childhood Investments Strategic Education Portfolio, has been committed to promoting opportunities that ensure the region’s children are ready to learn and prepared to succeed in school and life.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving supported the use of a kindergarten assessment tool, the Early Development Instrument (EDI), in East Hartford and Windsor communities in school year 2016-2017, Windsor Locks in school year 2017-2018, and Hartford in school year 2018-2019. The purpose is to provide data on children at the crucial transition to kindergarten, to improve outcomes for young children and their families, share accountability for school readiness among communities and schools and to build local solutions to local needs that can inform broader early childhood systems building and policy at the regional and state levels.