The EDI is part of a national initiative called Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS,) developed to help match proven school readiness solutions with the unique needs faced by communities. TECCS was first introduced in California’s Orange and Los Angeles Counties in 2009 and has expanded to 30 communities since then. TECCS has four core components, including measurement and mapping, community engagement, shared learning network and targeted, place-based systems improvement.
The EDI is implemented to help the TECCS initiative gather relevant information in each site. The EDI on this website features local level information on our community’s school readiness organized by geographic areas such as neighborhoods or census tracts and socio-demographic and community characteristics.
The data presented in the EDI is based on recalls completed by kindergarten teachers on each child in their class. Findings are reported as a group and never used on individual children or used as a screening or diagnostic tool for children.
The EDI checklist includes five developmental domains including:
Physical Health and Well Being
Teachers looked at children’s overall health state to determine their level of vulnerability for this domain. But assessing children’s wellbeing is not merely a matter of looking at signs of disease. Indicators such as appropriate nutrition, gross and fine motor skills, impairment, access to adequate healthcare and the ability to complete common kindergarten and first grade tasks were also taken into account. This domain is extremely important in determining children’s developmental outcomes. Factors such as diet quality, sleeping patterns, physical activity and stress levels can impact children’s learning process and development stages. Sub-domains of Physical Health and Well Being include physical readiness for school work, physical independence, as well as gross and fine motor skills. Children were ranked either not ready, ready or somewhat ready for school.
This domain looks at the complex and multidimensional skills that are necessary for successful social adaptation. Teachers were asked to determine if children met general standards of acceptable behavior in public places, control their behavior, cooperate with others, show respect for adult authority and communicate feelings and needs in a social acceptable manner. Social competence is important for children’s healthy developmental outcomes. Children’s social competence depends upon a number of factors, including the child’s social skills, social awareness and self-confidence. Parents are the primary source of social and emotional support for children during the first years of life, but in later years peers begin to play a significant role in children’s social development. Sub-domains of Social Competence include overall social competence with peers, respect and responsibility, approaches to learning and readiness to explore new things. Children were ranked either not ready, ready or somewhat ready for school.
Emotional maturity is the state at which the mental and emotional capabilities of an individual are fully developed. In children, emotional maturity is characterized by a balance between their curiosity about the world, an eagerness to try new experiences and some ability to reflect before acting. It is very important to assess children’s emotional maturity because without it they will be reluctant to engage in new activities and miss out on learning opportunities that confident healthy kids should seize. When children have trouble assessing a relationship or a situation and don’t act according to what is best for them and those around them, there may be a problem. Teachers, for instance, were asked to report if their students showed helping behaviors when someone was hurt, sick, or upset or if they showed signs of anxiety, stress, nervousness or sadness. Sub-domains of Emotional Maturity include prosocial and helping behavior, anxious and fearful behavior, aggressive behavior and hyperactive and inattentive behavior. Children were ranked either not ready, ready or somewhat ready for school.
Language and Cognitive Development
During early childhood, children’s abilities to understand, process and produce language flourishes in an amazing way. Children experience a language explosion between the ages of 3 and 6. Language skills refer to vocabulary size and children’s ability to name letters and attend to the component sounds within words. Cognitive skills involve the ways in which children perceive, organize and analyze information. Many of the benefits of language occur because of the expansion of attention and memory. Children ranging from being average to very poor in effective communication may have difficulty participating in games involving the use of language or may have difficulty understanding others. Poor language and cognitive development slows the learning process. Teachers were asked to look at children’s basic literacy skills such as identifying letters or attaching sounds to them, handling a book, showing awareness, etc. Sub-domains for Language and Cognitive Development include basic literacy skills, interest in literacy, numeracy and memory, advanced literacy skills and basic numeracy skills. Children were ranked either not ready, ready or somewhat ready for school.
Communication Skills and General Knowledge
Children must be able to understand verbal communication with other adults and children and to verbally communicate experiences, ideas, wishes, and feelings in a way that can be understood by others. This domain explores children’s ability to communicate clearly and to understand others. It also looks at a variety of activities while communicating thoughts, feelings and intentions. Children who communicate effectively and easily in their native language and who can show adequate general knowledge about the world around them are more school ready than those who don’t. Children who range from being average to very poor in effective communication may have difficulty participating in games involving the use of language and may have a hard time understanding others. For this sub-domain, children were ranked either not ready, or ready or somewhat ready for school.
The EDI Community Profile reflects data collected by participating kindergarten teachers from the IDEA Public Schools and the independent school districts of Brownsville, Los Fresnos and Port Isabel during the 2011-2012 school year.
How Are The EDI Results Presented?
The findings are presented in an interactive map that shows the percentage of children in our community who are developmentally vulnerable on the five EDI domains (see domain list and descriptions below.)
Other important indicators or factors that may influence health and well-being can be mapped on top of community-level EDI results as well.
The map is colored in different shades to represent the range of developmental vulnerability. The shading shows how a community is doing compared to other communities where the EDI has been used. Areas in lighter shades have a lower percentage of developmentally vulnerable children, while the darker shaded areas have a higher percentage of developmentally vulnerable children.
Socio-economic and Socio-demographic Indicators
The following indicators are used in the report to help us understand where and why children are doing better or worse in particular areas.
- Social Services
- Other Services
- Medical/Health Services
- Early Education Services
- Child Care Sites
- Licensed Child Care Centers
- Children in Preschool/Nursery School
- Children in Poverty
- Families With Unemployed Adult
- Single Parent Families
- Spanish Speaking Households
- Property Crime Rate
- Violent Crime Rate
- Educational Progress Attainment
- Years at Current Residence