A high percentage are struggling by kindergarten Out of a cohort of 70,206 children who were included in the Early Development Instrument (EDI) data gathered between 2009 and 2013.
Less than half (46 per cent) are developing appropriately in all five areas of development. Nearly 29 per cent experience great difficulty in one or more areas and nearly 15 per cent experience great difficulty in two or more. This does not include children with diagnosed severe disabilities. Alberta baseline results
Great difficulty in ONE or more areas of development Great difficulty in TWO or more areas of development Alberta Canada Alberta falling behind the Canadian norm Alberta EDI results ( ), ECMap
Community EDI EGD1+
Out of a total of 100 communities: 66 have a greater percentage of children EGD1+ than the Canadian norm, and 62 have a greater percentage of children EGD2+ compared to the Canadian norm. Children are struggling in every community
Socio-economic status of communities has been related to EDI results. Children generally scored higher on the EDI in communities with positive SEI and lower in communities with lower SEI. The socio-economic connection
Largest # experiencing difficulties found in middle SEI communities Total number EGD1+ 20,116
SEI: It’s not just about income
23,100+ community resources identified by coalitions and mapped higher socio-economic index (SEI) linked to greater frequency of resources more study needed to understand connection between resources and EDI Resources tied to SEI
Coalitions provide unique input 100 mobilized throughout Alberta established community boundaries in a province where there are no common boundaries provided an equal voice at the table for all sectors in the community contributed to research and put the data to work
Who sits on coalitions Adapted from ECMap’s Final Report.
Summary Thousands of young children in Alberta are not reaching their potential. This represents a big loss in a province that has the fastest growing population of preschool children in Canada. All communities have young children who are struggling. Communities care passionately about their children.
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Final recommendations Continue to gather EDI data as part of a comprehensive early childhood development (ECD) monitoring system for Alberta Support the continuation of community coalitions in using research data for community and provincial action planning for ECD in AB Ensure healthy, nurturing environments are available for all children regardless of socio- economic status, disabilities, family circumstances, cultural backgrounds or geographic location in the province Ensure healthy, nurturing environments are available for all children regardless of socio- economic status, disabilities, family circumstances, cultural backgrounds or geographic location in the province
Recommendations cont’d Develop a strategy to increase general knowledge and understanding of ECD in communities across Alberta Establish a provincial secretariat of Human Early Learning and Development with a cross-departmental mandate on ECD Re-examine the current qualifications for professionals in early education and improve knowledge about ECD in related fields