UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Changing early child communities McPhail, Cory


Changes in the proportion of children vulnerable on the Early Development Instrument (EDI) over time can be used to identify communities with an improvement or decline in its ability to foster healthy children. Positive change communities had a significant reduction in the proportion of children in a community deemed vulnerable. Negative change communities had a significant increase in the proportion of children in a community deemed vulnerable. Communities exhibiting positive change fell above the 83rd percentile on a composite of those SES variables found to correlate with EDI vulnerability, while negative change communities all fell below the 83rd percentile. Stable communities were those with no significant change in the proportion of children deemed vulnerable, and meaningful differences were found between stable high and stable low vulnerability communities. This community typology provides a priority setting lens for where early child interventions may be most effective. A methodology for identifying and analyzing a group of Early Child Development (ECD) communities is presented. A heat map tool is created to synthesize all data relevant to community ECD. Community stakeholders have to choose and evaluate best practices for providing a stimulating cognitive and social environment for all children before they reach kindergarten. This includes universally targeted variations of pre-kindergarten programs. New Investments would be required, but there would be a financial return to governments in future health, labor, and crime outcomes.

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