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The Early Development Instrument

 This booklet provides an overall view of kindergarten readiness in Spartanburg County.

This booklet provides an overall view of kindergarten readiness in Spartanburg County.

The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a tool for measuring school readiness across five key domains. They include: physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, and communications skills and general knowledge.  The EDI was developed through the Offord Center at McMaster University in Canada and is licensed for use in the United States through UCLA's Center for Healthier Children, Families, & Communities. SAM's engagement of community members in the Kindergarten Success Collaborative Action Network (KSCAN) led to a pilot then county-wide administration of the EDI to assemble the first picture of kindergarten readiness across Spartanburg County. 

The FIVE KEY DOMAINS and DESCRIPTIONS support understanding of the summary reports for each domain of readiness which include sub-domain data:


Additional information is available to our community concerning the distribution of vulnerabilities across neighborhoods. Children who are determined to be “vulnerable” scored at or below the 10th percentile in the nationally normed data set. “Vulnerable” means vulnerable for future school failure. Maps detail the distribution of vulnerabilities across Spartanburg County by census tracts. These maps provide detail not known before that helps us better understand gaps in readiness and begin targeting resources and strategies with laser-like focus. These maps are not meant to negatively identify a particular neighborhood over another. They are, though, incredibly helpful tools to identify needs that one area may have that are different than another area so that we are no longer applying a “one size fits all” approach to addressing the needs of our families and youngest learners.  

For a closer look at specific communities across the county, the map is broken up into three sections and enlarged. In all maps, any area remaining unshaded (white) means that too few data were collected in this area for reporting. Within each map, an asterisk in the data table indicates that the population threshold was not met, suggesting caution in projecting results to that area as a whole.

Click buttons below to view vulnerability maps:


  In our hands is their future...    In their hands, is ours.

In our hands is their future...

In their hands, is ours.

In addition to the EDI results mapped, we also now have additional maps that can be used to begin identifying other factors that may be related to kindergarten readiness outcomes as well. The complete MAP BOOK includes all the individual maps above as well as additional maps specific to: preschool enrollment; third grade reading proficiency rates; violent crime rates; degree attainment rates for adults ages 25 and above; and specially compiled maps based on Neighborhood Risk.

The Neighborhood Risk Index Map identifies census tracts’ risks for data points that collectively have a high correlation with kindergarten readiness outcomes. An additional Neighborhood Risk Index Map powerfully displays census tracts with high risk that are “beating the odds” where children are going to kindergarten with fewer vulnerabilities and census tracts that do not have a risk index but have great challenges in kindergarten readiness. These maps help us identify bright spots and begin investigating the resources that may be having a positive impact on young children’s development.

With this first ever comprehensive look into kindergarten readiness across our county, we see there is work to be done. Our community is ready, willing and able to collectively and collaboratively drive action toward our ultimate goal: all children, ready for success in school.

Organizations, community leaders, and individuals are now tasked with using the information presented here to answer vital questions and take action: 

  • Who can help spread awareness to build community interest for investing in young children from birth to kindergarten?

  • How can we strengthen coordination and alignment of services?

  • Where do we see strengths and needs among neighborhoods?

  • Where can public and private funding be leveraged for the greatest impact?

  • How can this information inform program and curriculum development?

  • How can this be used to create professional development opportunities for those caring for young children?

  • How can we equip parents in supporting the healthy development of children from birth so that they naturally meet these milestones and are ready for school?

Your organization can arrange for presentations regarding the EDI report by contacting SAM Staff at 864-573-5804 or emailing info@learnwithsam.org