“It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men” (Douglas, 1817). This quote is incredibly profound in its meaning. It is well known that children’s early relational experiences with their primary caregiver, particularly from conception to the third year of life, ultimately lay the foundation for development throughout the lifespan. Thus, given the significance of the first few days and years of life, early identification and intervention are pivotal to the successful outcomes of children.
Early Development Instrument
The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a teacher-completed questionnaire that reflects the developmental status of young children upon school entry. The EDI data for Niagara shows that over time, the vulnerability of children in their second year of kindergarten has been increasing in the Social Competence and the Emotional Maturity domains in particular. Between 2011 and 2015, there was a significant increase in the percentage of children vulnerable in the Social Competence domain, and vulnerability was also higher in Niagara than the provincial average for 2015. In 2015, 14.3% of children were vulnerable in Emotional Maturity in Niagara, which was higher than the provincial average of 12.3%. If these trends continue on the current trajectory, Niagara is at risk for continuing to increase in vulnerability over and above the rest of the province.
This recent data is discouraging, particularly because social competence and emotional maturity are critical to a child’s academic, occupational, and relational success, among many other key life outcomes in the later years. In fact, it has been suggested that socio-emotional skills in Kindergarten have been linked to outcomes at 25 years of age (Jones, Greenberg, & Crowley, 2015). As such, failure to thrive in these areas is likely to have dire consequences on children’s functioning in adolescence and adulthood, which further supports the use of early developmental screening and intervention... read more ❯