The early childhood years from birth to the start of kindergarten are an important time of rapid learning and growth. Early Childhood Screening is a quick and simple check of how children are doing between the ages of 3 to 4 years. It identifies, at an early stage, possible learning or health concerns so that children can get needed help before starting school. Early Childhood Screening is not a kindergarten entrance test, however, it is required for entrance in Minnesota’s public schools and all enrolled preschoolers.
Minnesota Department of Education Screening Video
Components of this one time screening include:
- growth measurements,
- vision and hearing,
- immunization status,
- health and nutrition status,
- speech and developmental assessments,
- and a parent exit interview/conference.
Again, the purpose of ECS is; to find out how your child is doing, connect you and your child to early childhood programs and other community services, and answer your parenting questions.
At any time, if you have concerns about your child, call us, we would be happy to meet with you!
call the Elementary Office at 523-2191 option 1
Appointments are required. Again, it is best to screen your child as soon as they turn 3 ½ years of age or within 90 days of entering preschool. We will have fall screening dates for children that enroll in preschool.
If you have an older child who has not yet been screened, they should be screened as soon as possible.
Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions...
Who can come with?
Parents are welcome to come with but to minimize distractions, please make other arrangements for siblings if possible. If you need to bring other children with, we may ask you to wait outside the screening area.
My child is not going to attend preschool. Does s/he still need this screening?
Yes. Again, this screening should be completed when your child is 3-4 years old.
My child is going to attend a private/parochial school. Does s/he still need this screening?
While this screening is required for entrance into all public schools, it is highly recommended for ALL students age 3-4 years old, including those attending private/parochial school.
My child has regular checkups with my family physician. Do I still need to schedule an Early Childhood Screening?
Yes. Routine physical exams performed by your family physician are important, but do not meet all the requirements of a comprehensive developmental screening.
If my child does well at Early Childhood Screening, does this mean s/he is ready for Kindergarten?
Early Childhood Screening is not an assessment of kindergarten readiness. Screening looks at some basic areas of growth and development, but does not evaluate all the skills that a child will need for a successful experience in kindergarten.
My child is very shy. Can I attend all screening stations with them?
We welcome parents to attend each screening station with their child. However, in some instances, children perform better without a parent in the room. Please do not be offended if we ask you to leave to get a better picture of how your child is by him/herself.
When will I get the results of the screening?
Staff will discuss the results with you throughout the screening. An exit interview will also be conducted at the end of the screening to review all results and answer any questions you may have.
What if English is my second language or a parent does not speak English?
An Interpreter is provided upon request. Please let us know in advance so arrangements can be made.
My child receives special education services. Do I still need to schedule a screening?
If your child receives special education services, speak with your child's case manager. If the evaluation process included a full evaluation (including hearing, vision, full developmental, and speech), the screening may not be needed. If the evaluation only included one area of concern (ex. articulation), the screening is still required.