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Indicator Metadata

NameChildren Vulnerable in Areas of Early Development
Short/Other Names

Children Vulnerable in One or More Areas of Early Development

Description

This indicator is an important determinant of health and well-being in later life. It measures the percentage of children who are considered vulnerable in at least 1 developmental domain at school entry, as measured by the Early Development Instrument (EDI). The EDI is a kindergarten teacher–completed checklist that consists of 103 questions and measures 5 areas of early child development:

1) Physical health and well-being

2) Social competence

3) Emotional maturity

4) Language and cognitive development

5) General knowledge and communication skills

InterpretationA lower percentage of children considered vulnerable at school entry is a positive indicator of healthy development at approximately age 5.
HSP Framework Dimension

Health System Outcomes: Improve health status of Canadians

Areas of Need

Not applicable

Geographic Coverage

Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories

Reporting Level/Disaggregation

National, Province/Territory, Region

Indicator Results

Accessing Indicator Results on Your Health System: In Depth

Identifying Information
NameChildren Vulnerable in Areas of Early Development
Short/Other Names

Children Vulnerable in One or More Areas of Early Development

Indicator Description and Calculation
Description

This indicator is an important determinant of health and well-being in later life. It measures the percentage of children who are considered vulnerable in at least 1 developmental domain at school entry, as measured by the Early Development Instrument (EDI). The EDI is a kindergarten teacher–completed checklist that consists of 103 questions and measures 5 areas of early child development:

1) Physical health and well-being

2) Social competence

3) Emotional maturity

4) Language and cognitive development

5) General knowledge and communication skills

Calculation: Description

This indicator is calculated by dividing the number of children who are considered vulnerable in at least 1 developmental domain by the total number of children for whom the EDI was completed (indicator reported based on school year, September to June; school year may vary slightly by province/school board). All questionnaires must meet the inclusion criteria to be included in the analyses.

A child is considered vulnerable when his or her EDI score in a developmental domain is equal to or lower than the score corresponding to the 10th percentile of all kindergarten children (based on a pan-Canadian set of EDI results) for that developmental domain. Children who are vulnerable in areas of early development are more likely to face greater challenges in school learning than those who are not vulnerable.

The pan-Canadian results may vary slightly from those published by provinces and territories because the population of reference is different.

The Canadian vulnerability percentage is calculated based on the most recent data for all available provinces and territories.

As of September 2016, coverage is not available in Nunavut.

Calculation: Geographic Assignment

Place of residence

Calculation: Type of Measurement

Percentage or proportion

Calculation: Adjustment Applied

None

Calculation: Method of Adjustment

Not applicable

Denominator

Description:
Total number of kindergarten children with valid EDI data
Exclusions:
Cases where the child was in the classroom for less than 1 month, was identified as having special needs, was not in senior kindergarten or was missing too much data in a questionnaire (more than 25%)

Numerator

Description:
Number of children who are considered vulnerable on at least 1 area of development. The cut-off score used to identify vulnerability on each area of development for this indicator was established using the 10th percentile score of a pan-Canadian set of EDI results.

Background, Interpretation and Benchmarks
Rationale

Healthy child development is an important determinant of health and well-being in later life. It is the outcome of available services and supports for families, effective parenting, as well as the social and economic circumstances in which children live and grow up, such as their housing, neighbourhood and community environment; family income and parents' level of education; and access to nutritious foods and physical recreation.

Child development can be assessed at age 5 with the EDI. The EDI was developed to provide a feasible, acceptable and psychometrically sound measuring instrument that assesses developmental health of children before entering Grade 1. The instrument has been designed to provide information for groups of children to

1) Report on populations of children in different communities

2) Assess the strengths and deficits of students

3) Predict how children will do in elementary school and beyond

Interpretation

A lower percentage of children considered vulnerable at school entry is a positive indicator of healthy development at approximately age 5.

HSP Framework Dimension

Health System Outcomes: Improve health status of Canadians

Areas of Need

Not applicable

Targets/Benchmarks

Not Applicable

References

Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario. Maintaining the Gains, Moving the Yardstick: Ontario Health Status Report, 2011. 2011 Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 2013.

Offord Centre for Child Studies. Early Development Instrument. https://edi.offordcentre.com/. Accessed December 22, 2015

Availability of Data Sources and Results
Data Sources

Early Development Instrument (EDI)

Available Data Years

Type of Year:
School
First Available Year:
2004
Last Available Year:
2016

Geographic Coverage

Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories

Reporting Level/Disaggregation

National, Province/Territory, Region

Result Updates
Update Frequency

The frequency of data collection varies across jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions have a 1-year data collection period, while others have a collection period of 2 or more years. The most recent data available is for the following periods: N.L.: 2013–2014; P.E.I.: 2007–2008; N.S.: 2014–2015; N.B.: 2008–2009; Que.: 2011–2012; Ont.: 2014–2015; Man.: 2014–2015; Sask.: 2009–2010 to 2010–2011; Alta.: 2015–2016; B.C.: 2013–2014 to 2015–2016; Y.T.: 2012–2013; N.W.T.: 2013–2014 to 2016–2017. The Canadian average is calculated based on the most recent data for all available provinces and territories.

Indicator Results

Web Tool:
Your Health System: In Depth
URL:
Accessing Indicator Results on Your Health System: In Depth

Updates

Not applicable

Quality Statement
Caveats and Limitations

To protect confidentiality and to allow for the deduction of meaningful statistics, the Offord Centre for Child Studies suppresses information for units of aggregation that feature EDI results for less than 35 children (when the units are geographic in nature).

EDI collection in Alberta was completed via active parent/guardian consent (rather than passive consent, as is done in other provinces/territories). School authorities were given the choice to participate in EDI collection. 2016 is considered a provincial collection, although data was not collected from all school authorities.

Please note that the age of entry into kindergarten may vary by province, specifically in Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

Trending Issues

Trending should be conducted with caution given that the frequency of data collection varies across jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions have a 1-year data collection period, while others have a collection period of 2 or more years involving pooled data years. It is important to consider these differences in jurisdictional data collection when evaluating trends over time.

Comments

Data is reported by school year (September to June; may vary slightly by province/school board); the first year of available data is for the 2004–2005 school year.

National results are calculated based on the most recent data from all available provinces and territories. Refer to the Update Frequency field above for detailed information on the most recent data available.

Provincial/territorial and health regional data includes all provinces and territories except Nunavut.

Indicator results are also available on

– Your Health System: In Brief (http://yourhealthsystem.cihi.ca/inbrief/?lang=en#!/indicators/013/children-vulnerable-in-areas-of-early-development)

– Early Development Instrument (https://edi.offordcentre.com/)