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Measuring Early Child Development in Scotland: Introducing the Early Development Instrument. Dr Rosemary Geddes Career Development Fellow, MRC Human Genetics Unit, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy Professor John Frank

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Measuring Early Child Development in Scotland: Introducing the Early Development Instrument


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    1. Measuring Early Child Development in Scotland:Introducing the Early Development Instrument Dr Rosemary Geddes Career Development Fellow, MRC Human Genetics Unit, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy Professor John Frank Director, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy Professor and Chair, Public Health Research and Policy, University of Edinburgh

    2. Today’s presentation • Early child development • Health inequalities • Measuring child development • Early Development Instrument • Tool for community change • How other countries do this • Our project • Timescales and steps involved

    3. EARLY YEARS MATTER: They set the stage for further development

    4. `Sensitive periods’ in early brain development “Pre-school” years School years High `Numbers’ Peer social skills Conceptualization Sensitivity Language Habitual ways of responding Emotionalcontrol Vision Hearing Low 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0 Years Graph developed by Council for Early Child Development (ref: Nash, 1997; Early Years Study, 1999; Shonkoff, 2000.)

    5. What determines early child development? • Genetics • Environmental factors – the world around • Breastfeeding • Sensitive nurturing • Reading and activities • Healthy diet • Being treated with care and respect by those around you • Good parental role models

    6. Life Course Problems Related to Early Life 2nd Decade 3rd/4th Decade 5th/6th Decade Old Age • School Failure • Teen Pregnancy • Criminality • Obesity • Elevated Blood • Pressure • Depression • Addictions • Coronary Heart • Disease • Diabetes • Premature • Aging • Memory Loss Source: Clyde Hertzman, Early Child Development: A powerful equalizer.

    7. Health inequalities in Scotland Sources : 1. Gray R, Bonellie SR, Chalmers J, Greer I, Jarvis S, Kurinczuk JJ, et al. 2009. 2. Scottish Government. Growing Up in Scotland: Health inequalities in the early years. 2010. 3. Levin KA, Davies CA, Topping GV, Assaf AV, Pitts NB. 2009.4. Scottish Government 2003. 5. Scottish Government Health Analytical Services Division 2008.

    8. In Scotland babies born into these circumstances live, on average, 12 years less than …

    9. … babies born into these circumstances.

    10. Measuring child development • No standardized way of measuring child development • Health Visitor 6-8 weeks, next stop is school • School measures - height, weight, vision • No idea if children are ready for school • No idea if the 0-5 year old environments are providing children with the support and stimulation they need to be ready for school

    11. What is the EDI? • The EDI is teacher-completed (20 minutes) checklist that assesses children’s readiness to learn when they enter school. • It measures the outcomes of children’s pre-school (0-5 years) experiences as they influence their readiness to learn at school. • As a result, the EDI is able to predict how children will do in primary school. • The EDI does not report information about individual children’s development, rather groupsof children.

    12. What Does the EDI Measure?

    13. 1) Physical Health and Well-Being Physical readiness for school day - e.g., arriving to school hungry Physical independence - e.g., having well-coordinated movements Gross and fine motor skills - e.g., being able to manipulate objects

    14. turity 2) Social Competence Overall social competence - e.g., ability to get along with other children Responsibility and respect - e.g., accept responsibility for actions Approaches to learning - e.g., working independently Readiness to explore new things - e.g., eager to explore new items 3) Emotional Maturity 3) Emotional Maturity Pro-social and helping behaviour - e.g., helps other children in distress Anxious and fearful behaviour - e.g., appears unhappy or sad Aggressive behaviour - e.g., gets into physical fights Hyperactivity and inattention - e.g., is restless

    15. 4) Language & Cognitive Development Basic literacy - e.g., able to write own name Interest in literacy/numeracy and memory - e.g., interested in games involving numbers Advanced literacy - e.g., able to read sentences Basic numeracy - e.g., able to count to 20

    16. 5) Communication Skills and General Knowledge (No subdomains) - Ability to clearly communicate one’s own needs and understand others - Clear articulation - Active participation in story-telling (not necessarily with good grammar and syntax) - Interest in general knowledge about the world

    17. Purposes of the EDI • Tells us what % of children are “vulnerable” in our communities and in which development areas • Provides picture of what early learning looks like at the community level • Reports on populations of children in different communities over time • Identifies strengths and where the needs are greatest • One predictor of how children will do in primary school • Identifies gaps in programmes and services

    18. Benefits of EDI • paints a picture - EDI results yield neighbourhood profiles of early childhood for every community in the district • building more bridges – agencies that serve infants, toddlers & preschoolers have an opportunity to plan and enhance theirservices including parenting programmes • planning – assists principals, schools and school boards to look forward to adjust school programmes to meet theneeds of incoming students • takes a village – emphasizes the role of the community before the child reaches school • teachers tell us – doing the EDI helps focus their thoughts for report card writing, parent/teacher meetings and programme planning • Look forward – adjust school programmes to meet the current needs of incoming students (schools). • Look backward – adjust early childhood programmes to help ensure children are ready to learn and make it easier for them to make the transition to school (community).

    19. In terms of what we can influence Early experiences Success in school Developmental outcomes EDI results Inform Predict

    20. Example of community action from down under

    21. Asset Mapping Perth East Metropolitan region, Proportion of children vulnerable on one or more domains East Metropolitan Perth, WA Prepared by: AEDI National Support Centre Source: AEDI Communities Data 2004/05

    22. The AEDI community planning process 2. Assessing the local distribution of children’s developmental vulnerability 1. Identifying areas of particular need e.g. Mission Australia funds 3 year play group, language program & mums group at school 3. Community asset mapping 4. Mobilising community action

    23. WHO IS USING IT?

    24. Conclusion • EDI provides communities with the opportunity to better understand how they can allocate resources & concentrate their efforts to work towards improving outcomes for children. • EDI is inexpensive & has been well-validated and used internationally with success • EDI covers more domains of child development than most other similar instruments • This ‘joined-up’ standardized holistic measurement of child outcomes provides an opportunity for information sharing and subsequent planning by all stakeholders in a local authority

    25. EDI pilot project: East Lothian • Preschool nursery schools • Assess children at end of nursery • Phase 1: smaller group of 20 teachers assessing 220 children – test the Canadian-EDI for language, content, user-friendliness • Adapt Canadian-EDI to a Scottish-EDI • Phase 2: larger pilot which assesses all (approximately 1000) preschool nursery children in the year before P1

    26. Logistics Timelines Stakeholders Community leaders Parent representatives Local authority leaders Preschool and school representatives Education authorities Health authorities Voluntary organisations operating in East Lothian • Phase 1: Dec 2010 to March 2011 • Phase 2: June 2011 • Reporting back to stakeholders: October 2011