posted on Jan. 15: New project will assess the readiness of Hamilton children to learn


How ready-to-learn are five-year-olds in Hamilton?

A landmark initiative launched today (Jan. 15) will help answer that question.

The two school boards in Hamilton will be working with McMaster's Dan Offord at the Canadian Centre for the Studies of Children at Risk to launch the School Readiness to Learn project.

This initiative will use a survey tool called the Early Development Instrument (EDI) to measure the outcomes of children's early years as they influence their readiness to learn at school. More than
5,600 senior kindergarten students will be surveyed.

Developed by Magdalena Janus of the Canadian Centre for the Studies of
Children at Risk, the EDI assesses students in five key areas: physical health and well being; social knowledge and competence; emotional health and maturity; language and cognitive development; and general knowledge and communication skills. Teachers answer questions by completing a survey for each student – anonymously – in their senior kindergarten classes.

The results will be a snapshot of the cohort of five-year-olds in Hamilton and offer direction to schools, agencies and government in improving life for children in all areas of the community.

As well as continuing valuable partnerships with the Canadian Centre for the Studies of Children at Risk, the school boards will become part of an important national project that will map the state of communities and how they foster healthy child development.

Students in Hamilton will be part of 150,000 students across Canada who are surveyed using the Early Development Instrument.