Discover MDI

A Field Guide to Well-Being in Middle Childhood

Guiding your journey to support children’s well-being using Middle Years Development Instrument data

Welcome to Discover MDI – the Field Guide for the Middle Years Development instrument (MDI) – a powerful tool to understand and support children’s well-being and positive development in the middle years. Discover MDI guides you on your journey with the MDI—from understanding the MDI and the importance of middle childhood, to collecting, exploring, and sharing MDI data and using MDI data to improve the well-being of children in the middle years. Get started on your Journey with the MDI below. 

Begin your journey to understanding by discovering what the MDI measures and how the data are reported.
MDI reports contain a wealth of data and offer valuable and relevant information that can be used by both school systems and partners to better respond to children’s needs.
Journey to action by finding out how the MDI works and how you can explore, share, and use your MDI data to catalyze positive changes for children in the middle years.
Access tools and resources for your journey designed to support you in understanding MDI data and in using the data to create positive change in schools and communities.

“Once children start expressing themselves we should be paying attention; right from the beginning. As they grow older they learn to understand that somebody is listening. When we start hearing their stories and paying attention we learn from each other.”

Joan Gignac, Executive Director, Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC

Learning by Listening

Featured Resources

Created: February 15, 2017

Duration: 00:01:47

This video provides information on the whole child and explains the multifaceted nature of well-being in middle childhood.

Created: April 12, 2016

Duration: 00:02:42

This video provides an introduction to the MDI narrated by Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Principal Investigator of the MDI.

Created: November 15, 2017

Duration: 00:03:44

The power and importance of children’s voices lies at the heart of the MDI. Members of HELP’s Aboriginal Steering Committee discuss how critical it is to listen to children’s voices.


Created: April 1, 2018

Last Updated: November 16, 2023

These MDI 101 PowerPoint slides cover the basics of the MDI and provide the information that audiences new to the MDI need to know with respect to the dimensions of the MDI and the rationale for assessing well-being and assets in middle childhood. Labeled slides are included for you to add your own MDI data.

Reach out, we are here to help