A developmental screening is a formal process using a tool to see if a child is meeting developmental milestones. It is completed by a healthcare provider, parent educator, or early childhood professional in collaboration with parents/legal guardians. Developmental screenings provide an opportunity for parents to understand their child’s development and learning which can significantly reduce the possibility that the child will have an undetected developmental delay. For more information on developmental screenings from a parent/care giver perspective, check out our monitoring and screening page.
For more information about how there is a direct link between developmental screenings and preparing a child for school readiness check out:
Skills and abilities are developing rapidly during birth to Kindergarten entry. Developmental screenings are important for all children even if there are no concerns. The child’s healthcare provider, parent educator, or early childhood professional in collaboration with the parents/legal guardians can work together to provide resources and access to community or child-specific programs. To understand the steps that should be taken during a developmental screening check out the:
Early care and education professionals can explain what a developmental screening is and why it is so important to parents by using the:
Developmental screening tools are designed for a variety of settings, ages, and purposes. Since children can be screened at varying ages, the tools and procedures to administer a developmental screening may differ. No single screening tool is equally effective for all ages or all areas of development.
Evidence-based screening tools that include information gathered from parents and early care and education professionals in a collaborative effort, can help support a child’s continued growth and development. Developmental Screening tools do not provide conclusive evidence of developmental delays and do not result in diagnoses but they assist in determining if a child needs further evaluation. The following screening tools for general development and social-emotional development are recommended for early care and education professionals to administer annually or more frequently according to the screening tool protocol.
- Ages & Stages Questionnaires: ASQ-3 & ASQ: SE-2
- BRIGANCE Early Childhood Screens III
- Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning (4th Edition), DIAL-4
- The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Infants (DECA-I)
- The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Toddlers (DECA-T)
- The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Preschoolers, Second Edition (DECA-P2)