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Why screening matters in Early Childhood Education

Recent research shows that the first three years of human life are some of the most important for brain development. That’s why experts agree that screening in the earliest years of life is essential. It’s an efficient way for professionals to track a child’s development, and the earlier we begin to monitor development, the better children are able to reach their full potential. When we’re looking at the aptitude of a child, knowing when to assess and how are essential components to helping a child reach their milestones. It is also the most effective way to determine if follow up steps such as early intervention (EI) are needed. And the earlier a child receives EI, the more time the brain has to adapt to positive learning outcomes and success.

There are many ways to assess a child’s development in Early Childhood Education. Here at Meaningful Milestone’s Daycare & Preschool, we use the ASQ®-3 and the ASQ®:SE-2.

What is an ASQ®?

Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ®) is a high quality developmental and social emotional screening for ages beginning at birth to six years. It is known as the gold standard of developmental assessment by many early childhood experts, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This is why they can always be found at your pediatrician visits!

In order to assess the whole child, ASQ® can be divided into 2 different questionnaires, the ASQ®-3 and the ASQ®:SE-2. The ASQ®-3 screens across several key domains, such as gross motor and problem solving, and can stand as an effective assessment on its own. But when coupled with the ASQ®:SE-2, which screens social and emotional exclusively, you can get an even clear picture of a child’s development, which oftentimes is the determining factor in whether early intervention may be needed.

How we use the ASQ® at our daycare and preschool

At Meaningful Milestones Daycare and Preschool, teachers are trained to use the ASQ® to guide each child’s personalized learning plan based on their individual needs.

However, the most powerful aspect of the ASQ® is getting parents involved in the learning process. About four times per year, our parents and teachers will fill out the ASQ®, and sit down to compare and contrast how we answered each question. It gives all caregivers a chance to celebrate the child's achievements, put a personalized learning plan in place to help reach our milestones, and determine whether follow-up steps are needed. Bridging this gap between home and school is essential in the child’s success, giving parents the insight on where their child may or may not need resources. The ASQ® is simple yet highly effective, and is empowering for parents to play an active role is their child’s development.

Interested in learning more about how we use the ASQ®? Join us for a virtual tour where we go into more detail. Sign up here:

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