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Let's talk about...Standard D3

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Written by: Erin Schmidt and Ruth La Brayere

D3. Written assessment is made of each child’s growth and development.


All Ages

  • Assessments are based on developmental norms and expectations appropriate for the child’s age. [D]
  • Assessments incorporate information obtained from multiple sources including observation documentation, photographs, and samples of work, as well as parental input. [SS]
  • Assessments are used to identify effectiveness in meeting goals and as a guide for future planning. [SS]
Infants, Toddlers, Twos
  • Assessments include cognitive, language, motor, social, and emotional development. [D]
  • Teachers complete assessments 2 or more times per year. [D]
Preschool
  • Assessments include cognitive, language, motor, social, and emotional development. [D]
  • Teachers complete assessments 2 or more times per year. [D]
School Age
  • Assessments include general skills and abilities of school age children. (Ex. social skills, work    habits, physical abilities)   [D]
  • Teachers complete assessments a minimum of once per year. [D]

There are important reasons for early childhood professionals to observe and complete developmental assessments for children in their classroom:

Aid in Curriculum Planning   
  • Appropriate curriculum builds upon what a child already knows and is both age and individually appropriate.  Observation and assessment made across all domains of children’s learning provides information about a child’s capabilities, interests, and ways of learning.  With this information the teacher can plan appropriate activities and experiences to help children continue to make progress.

Identify Special Needs or Special Aptitudes
  • Areas of special need may become apparent when observations and assessments  indicate a pattern of interactions, conversations, and/ or behaviors that are outside the expected developmental range.  Unbiased observations can reveal new understanding about each child’s development.
Based on these observations, the need for any of the following can be assessed:
  • program adjustments to meet individual needs
  • curriculum/activities specifically targeted to a set of needs or strengths
  • parent questionnaire
  • onsite observation by an outside organization
  • professional advice
  • intervention by specialist
Developmental Checklists are an acceptable form for completion of the formal assessment of Children.  Checklists include milestones for normal development in specific age groups across  developmental areas: Cognitive, language, motor, social and emotional development. The skills and characteristics on such checklists can be endless.  Select and use those that are consistent with your philosophy.  


Assessments for young children are not a test.  Many commercially available assessment instruments are stressful to young children and do not accurately reflect many abilities. Assessments for young children are not report cards.  They are used to learn about a child at a point in time. When used several times over the year, assessments will indicate progress made over time.

Authentic assessment of young children includes the use of developmental checklists in conjunction with other observation tools.  

Below Are the Glossary Terms that are associated with this standard and are found in the Glossary in the Appendices of the Accreditation Manual.

Assessment ..................................................................................................................................................................................... D3

A summary of a child’s progress and achievements. Checklists and assessment tools that incorporate all developmental areas can be purchased or created by the program to assist with assessment. Individually administered measurements are to be limited and evaluations that require children to be removed from the classroom setting are not acceptable in meeting this standard.

Because school-age children are thoroughly assessed in their formal school setting, assessment of these children in an after school or summer setting should be based on the goals set by the program for these children. That may be good work habits, social and problem solving skills, leadership, empathy for others, and/or other values. School-age assessments can be created by the program.

Assessment of preschoolers and school-age children serves the same purpose: to identify effectiveness in meeting classroom/program goals, a guide for planning future activities and communicating with parents.

Developmental norms and expectations....................................................................................................................... D3


Standards by which a child’s development can be measured. These are usually based on predictable age-related behaviors.

Observation documentation..........................................................................................................................................D2, D3


Short, narrative notes made at the time of or shortly after an observation that accurately describe a particular event that has been observed. There is to be no analysis of intent; only a factual report of actions and words. Written notes can be made on 3"x5" cards, on sticky notes, on notepads, or in spiral notebooks. Notes should be collected in the child’s confidential file. To be most useful, each recorded observation should contain the name of the child being observed, the place, date, and time of observation as well as the observer’s name.

Multiple recorded observations that have been collected over time will give evidence of the child’s progress and/or reveal a pattern. Information obtained from written observations is to be used as part of the evidence for assessments. Unbiased recordings of observations allow parents to get a realistic picture of their child at school.

Tags:  accreditation  early childhood education  Early Learning Leaders  National Accreditation Commission 

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