1. Teaching and Learning

1E. Child Assessment

Brief Overview of Standard: Assessment is a continual process of observing, gathering, recording, and interpreting information to answer questions and make developmental and instructional decisions about children. Child assessment differs from screening in the following ways:

  • Assessments can be used to serve several purposes, such as documenting children’s developmental progress or helping early childhood practitioners plan to meet the individual needs of children; whereas screenings are used only to monitor whether children are at risk for delays in their growth and development.
  • Assessment measures young children’s performance over time rather than attempting to measure their skills and abilities at one point in time.
  • Assessment is often a lengthier process than screening and may require collecting information about children from multiple sources in order to create a comprehensive picture of their skills and abilities. 

Many of the tools in this section are available in English, Spanish and other languages.

Assessment Tools - Specific Tools

Child Assessment Tools which accompany and align with the curricula listed on the Curriculum Resources page are generally acceptable for Child Assessment Standard 1E in centers and Standard 1D in family child care.  A separate application process is not required unless the child assessment tool is independent of the curriculum.

Please note:  Even though an assessment tool is associated with a curriculum that is determined to be aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines and/or the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, it may not meet all criteria as set forth by individual early childhood programs, such as Preschool for All and Head Start. Please check with the appropriate administering agency for specific guidelines.

Infants and Toddlers

BRIGANCE Inventory of Early Development (0-35 months)
http://www.curriculumassociates.com/products/detail.aspx?title=BrigEC-IED3-sum
This assessment tool covers a broad range of readiness skills to help educators identify each child's specific strengths and needs. Key early learning domains include:

  • Physical Development
  • Language Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics and Science
  • Daily Living
  • Social-Emotional Development

Teaching Strategies GOLD
http://teachingstrategies.com/assessment/
Teaching Strategies GOLD is grounded in 38 objectives that guide teachers throughout the
assessment cycle.  The objectives are organized into 10 areas of development and learning, including broad developmental areas, content areas, and English language acquisition. Many of the objectives also include dimensions that guide teachers’ thinking about various aspects of that objective, and help clarify what the objective addresses. Teaching Strategies GOLD can be used with children from birth to five years.

Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) Infant And Toddler Program

http://www.centerforresilientchildren.org/infants/assessments-resources/devereux-early-childhood-assessment-deca-infant-and-toddler-program/
Designed for use with children 1 month through 36 months, the screening and assessment tool focuses on identifying key social and emotional strengths. The planning resources provide caregivers and parents with research-based strategies to promote children’s resilience.  The Infant form is appropriate for children 1 to 18 months, and the Toddler form is appropriate for children 18 to 36 months.

Early Learning Accomplishment Profile (E-LAP)
http://chtop.org/Products/LAP-System/The-Early-Lap.htm
The Early Learning Accomplishment Profile (E-LAP) provides a systematic method for observing the skill development of children functioning in the birth to 36 month age- range. The purpose of this criterion-referenced assessment is to assist teachers, clinicians, and parents in assessing individual development. The Early LAP contains a hierarchy of 414 developmental skills arranged in chronological sequence in six domains of development: gross motor, fine motor, cognition, language, self-help, and social-emotional.  

Hawaii Early Learning Profile (HELP) 0-3
http://www.vort.com/
HELP 0-3 is a comprehensive, on-going, family centered curriculum based assessment process for infants and toddlers and their families.  HELP domains include Cognitive, Language, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Social-Emotional, and Self-Help.

High Scope Infant Toddler Child Observation Record
http://www.highscope.org/file/Assessment/IT_COR_to_IT_KDIs_9-26-11.pdf
The Child Observation Record for Infants and Toddlers (COR) looks at the whole child — highlighting broad areas of development for children from the ages of 6 weeks to 3 years.  The Infant /Toddler assessment tool is based on six categories that represent broad domains of child development. These categories are: Sense of self, Social relations, Creative representation, Movement, Communication and language, Exploration and early logic. 

Ounce Scale
http://www.pearsonclinical.com/childhood/products/100000403/ounce-scale-the.html#tab-details
The Ounce Scale offers a meaningful way to evaluate and document children’s growth, accomplishments, areas of difficulty, and temperament.  Designed for use with infants and toddlers, The Ounce Scale is organized around six major developmental areas: Personal connections, Feelings about self, Relationships with other children, Understanding and communicating, Exploration and problem solving, Movement and coordination. Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental.

 

Preschool Assessment Instruments (for 3, 4 and 5 year olds)

BRIGANCE Inventory of Early Development (3-5 year olds)
http://www.curriculumassociates.com/products/detail.aspx?title=BrigEC-IED3-sum
This assessment tool covers a broad range of readiness skills to help educators identify each child's specific strengths and needs. Key early learning domains include:

  • Physical Development
  • Language Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics and Science
  • Daily Living
  • Social-Emotional Development

Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) Preschool Program
http://www.devereux.org/site/PageServer?pagename=deci_preschool_theory#assessment
This strength-based assessment and planning system is designed to promote resilience in children ages 3 through 5.

Teaching Strategies GOLD
http://teachingstrategies.com/assessment/
Teaching Strategies GOLD is grounded in 38 objectives that guide teachers throughout the
assessment cycle.  The objectives are organized into 10 areas of development and learning, including broad developmental areas, content areas, and English language acquisition. Many of the objectives also include dimensions that guide teachers’ thinking about various aspects of that objective, and help clarify what the objective addresses. Teaching Strategies GOLD can be used with children from birth to five years.  

Early Learning Scale
http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/general_content/general_info/ELSstatic.jsp?utm=offline
The Early Learning Scale, ELS, is an authentic, observation-based performance assessment that provides educators with a practical tool for assessing the progress of students ages 3 to 5 toward school readiness. Based on current research, the ELS integrates with any curriculum and supports the needs of all student populations. The domains covered by the assessment include Math/Science, Social-Emotional/Social Studies and Language & Literacy. A Motor Development supplement will soon be available as well.

Hawaii Early Learning Profile (HELP): 3-6 years (2nd Ed.) Extends HELP 0-3
http://www.vort.com/
HELP 3-6 is a comprehensive, on-going curriculum-based assessment for use with young children and their families. It complements and extends HELP 0-3. HELP 3-6 domains include Cognitive, Language, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Social-Emotional, and Self-Help and three new Strands (Self Regulation, Dramatic Play, Time), along with 12 new behaviors/skills.

High/Scope Child Observation Record
http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=2
The Preschool Child Observation Record (COR) is an observation-based instrument providing systematic assessment of young children's knowledge and abilities in all areas of development.  The Preschool COR is used to assess children from the ages of 2½ to 6 years. .  The Preschool assessment tool is based on six categories that represent broad domains of child development. These categories are: Sense of self, Social relations, Creative representation, Movement, Communication and language, Exploration and early logic.  

Learning Accomplishment Profile-3 (LAP-3)
http://chtop.org/Products/LAP-System/The-LAP-3.html
The Learning Accomplishment Profile-3 (LAP-3) is designed to help teachers, clinicians, and parents assess, children’s skill development in several, domains of development.  Domains include: Gross motor, Fine motor, Prewriting, Cognitive, Language, Self-help, Personal/social.  For age range: 36-72 months

Work Sampling System
http://www.pearsonclinical.com/childhood/products/100000755/the-work-sampling-system-5th-edition.html#tab-details
The Work Sampling System is an assessment tool that can be used with children from preschool to third grade.  This tool helps collect information on the child’s work and compare it to grade-specific guidelines, identify what children are learning, what they are beginning to master, and what they still need to work on and inform curriculum and instruction planning.

 

Assessment Tools - Informational

Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation
http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/CAPEexpand.pdf
NAEYC Complete Position Statement with Expanded Resources, 2003.  This document begins by summarizing the position of NAEYC and NAECS/SDE about what is needed in an effective system of early childhood education—a system that supports a reciprocal relationship among
curriculum, child assessment, and program evaluation.

Preparing Young Latino Children for School Success: Best Practices in Assessments
http://www.nclr.org/images/uploads/publications/IB_23_Effective_Assesments_for_Young_English_Language_Learners.pdf
Student assessments are a critical component of any early learning program. Assessments are used to inform student instruction and to ensure that children are making significant learning gains based on age-appropriate expectations. For Hispanic English language learner (ELL) children, assessments must be structured in a manner that accurately measures children’s progress in both content knowledge and English language development. Additionally, assessments should provide information about how programs are serving young children with diverse learning needs. This policy brief highlights the importance of developing effective assessments for young ELLs, highlights a best practice in the field, and concludes with policy recommendations which highlight how to bring effective practices to scale.

Understanding and Choosing Assessments & Developmental Screeners for Young Children Ages 3-5: Profiles of Selected Measures
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/screeners_final.pdf
This compendium reviews technical information provided by developers regarding the reliability and validity of 8 commonly used child assessments and 10 developmental screening tools and translates this information into user-friendly language. The compendium also aims to increase awareness about reliability and validity and how to evaluate whether an instrument is reliable and valid for the population and purpose for which it will be used.
Author: J. Wessel, K. Darling-Churchill, Marty Zaslow, S. Moodie, Tamara Halle
Year: 2011