Early childhood is an important time of rapid learning and growth. With the increasing recognition of the early years as critical in a child’s development, schools are evaluating children at younger ages to determine their strength and weaknesses in important activities.
Early Childhood Screening is a FREE service available for all children, even if home schooling or private school is the family’s choice.
Why does my child need to be screened?
The Minnesota legislature has mandated that all children planning to attend public school must participate in Early Childhood Screening.
What is Early Childhood Screening?
It is a careful, simple check of your child’s growth – physical, developmental and emotional. Early Childhood Screenings are conducted to ensure that all young children are well-equipped and ready for learning and that families are aware of resources in their school and community. It helps parents see how their child is progressing compared to other children of the same age. In general, screening provides a way for parents to learn more about their children.
Developmental screening is not meant to assess readiness for kindergarten but to look at how a child is developing at this point in time. Children are not expected to be able to do all the items on the screening. Children are normed according to their same-age peers.
When should the screening be done?
The ideal age to have your child screened is 3 years, 10 months to 4 years, 2 months. The earlier the screening can be done the better. Waiting until the year before school entry may be waiting too long.
What happens during a screening?
During screening, staff will check your child’s:
- Immunization Status
Developmental skills: including speech/language, thinking skills, fine and gross motor development and social/emotional development.
Please call 507-567-2244 for more information if:
- You are new to the district or have recently moved.
- Your child is entering kindergarten in the fall and has not been screened.
- You have concerns about a child who is younger than four years of age.
- If your child has been screened by another school district.
- Your child is over 4 and you have not been notified.
Although the Early Childhood Screening program tries to contact every parent who has a young child, the ultimate responsibility lies with the parent to have their child screened.