Manitoba’s francophone children: what determines EDI scores?

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de Rocquigny, Janelle Yvette
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Little research exists on early childhood development in Manitoba’s Francophone community. The objective was to investigate whether children in the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM) were different from other children in Manitoba on Early Development Instrument (EDI) outcomes, when controlling for neighbourhood, family and individual factors. Using multilevel modelling, 944 DSFM children were compared to 25,950 children from other schools. DSFM children scored higher on physical health and well-being, and scored lower on language and cognitive development, and communication and general knowledge compared to other children. DSFM children living in communities with a high proportion of Francophones scored higher on four of the five EDI domains, compared to other DSFM children. DSFM children whose first language was not French had significantly lower scores on all domains. Results demonstrate the importance of developing the French language in the home and the need for the Francophone community to provide support for child development.
EDI, early childhood development, Francophones