Early Childhood Express: How Do We Assess Children’s Development and Learning?

Young child doing schoolwork at home

Tracking children’s progress when we only get to see them on television is hard and we have to rely on what we can see in the short time we see the child and parent on our screens and parent report. It’s time to rely on a family’s knowledge of their children to be able to track progress. If you have children leaving your program at the end of the year for kindergarten, it’s Child Outcomes Summary time and we can use our processes for gathering family input for the COS. ECTA has put together an excellent resource for completing the COS when the team can’t meet in person. This information will also be helpful for you in gathering progress information for your continuing children from parents.

Another resource for helping families observe and provide information is in Robin McWilliam’s blog Eligibility Determination During Stay-At-Home Orders. Although we’re not cleared to use his method for determining eligibility, his suggestions and tools for helping parents gather information are very useful because they focus on functional skills that parents can easily observe. Another good tool to share with families to help them gather progress information is the HELP. Sections can easily be sent home with instructions about observing and reporting on the skills most relevant to the child’s IEP objectives.

This article was contributed by Mary Perkins for the Early Childhood Express newsletter.