Developed over the course of nearly 30 years, the EDI is a population-based measure of early child development and school readiness in five key domains: physical health, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communications skills and general knowledge. Through rigorous, international testing, the EDI has been found to be a reliable indicator of a child’s well-being that has been used to monitor populations of children over time; report on populations of children in different communities; predict how groups of children will do in elementary school; and, inform systems and policies concerning young children and their families.


Collecting EDI tells us how our community’s children are doing, what programs and opportunities are helping and where additional resources need to be deployed to ensure the success of the entire community.

This report will help policy makers, nonprofit groups, educators and child advocates to quantify the success of programs and policies in place, uncover pockets of need and collaborate to ensure necessary support reaches all children.


The first iteration of EDI was developed in the late 1990s at the Offord Centre at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. In 2008, researchers at UCLA established a licensing agreement with the Offord Centre to develop a U.S. version of the EDI.

Orange County was the vanguard site for implementing the EDI in the United States. Researchers, policy makers and child advocates here understood that data drives meaningful decisions for early childhood education, health and well-being.

For more information or to request specific data, please contact: First5OC@cfcoc.ocgov.com.