‘It takes a village to raise a child’

 We all intuitively know that communities have a vital role to play in children’s development and learning.  Science is increasingly pointing to the importance of the pre-school years to the child’s capacity to learn, as well as their future health and well being. Yet we don’t measure or assess what  communities contribute to their children’s development and learning pre school.  If we don’t measure it, how can we  change it?

The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a way of measuring children’s development and readiness to learn by the time they reach formal schooling – it was developed in British Columbia and has been adopted around the world. East Lothian is to pilot EDI in a Scottish context in partnership with the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health. The instrument is a community level tool, it does not measure individual performance, but rather how many children in a given community are developmentally vulnerable on one of five domains. In effect it measures how well a community is supporting its early years children. Where it has been used in other countries it has allowed for a community to become more actively involved in supporting early years issues.

A small group has been established to organise the testing of the tool on a small scale and training staff in its use before rolling out accross East Lothian. A wider stakeholder group(s) will be brought together to once this initial work is completed to look at the information that is developed from the instrument and how it might be used.

Dr Rosemary Geddes prepared this presentation on EDI for the Support from the Start planning board held in July

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