Maryland’s Early Care & Education
Developmental Screening Program
Developmental screening is used to celebrate a child's achievement as well as refer them for support and services when there is an area of concern. Developmental screenings, along with regular physical exams, hearing tests and vision tests, are important ways to monitor a child's growth and development. A child’s development can be measured by how a child learns, speaks, moves, behaves and relates. Skills such as smiling, waving, and talking are developmental milestones. Results from developmental screenings indicate which children would benefit from a full evaluation and assessment. Children who receive early intervention services generally do better in the long term than those identified later. Upon completion of the screening, we will meet with you to discuss the findings and whether a referral to another agency for further evaluation is necessary.
Parents should consider this process as part of required documentation in order for the child to attend our program as mandated by MSDE.
The screening tool our program will use is called Ages & Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ-3) for ages 1 month-66 months. Parent Completion takes about 10-15 minutes. It will be scored by the Smarty Pants director.
Our screening process began in September 2015.
What is developmental screening?
Developmental screening is a brief method completed by a parent or caregiver to quickly identify a child’s progress through foundational early childhood developmental milestones. A child’s development can be measured by how a child learns, speaks, moves, behaves and relates. Skills such as smiling, waving, and talking are developmental milestones. Results from developmental screenings indicate which children would benefit from a full evaluation and assessment.
How often do I need to conduct developmental screenings?
Screening frequency is determined by the age of the child and takes place as follows:
All children, Birth – Kindergarten entry, within 90 days of child’s first day of attendance;
Children, Birth – 36 months by: June 30th and December 31st of each year (two times in a 12 month calendar)
Children 37 months – Kindergarten entry by December 31st of each year (One time in a 12 month calendar)
Are Smarty Pants teachers qualified to conduct and evaluate developmental screenings?
Training was required on the screening process to ensure teachers understand the how to implement the screening tool and to help learn best practices in partnering with and communicating results to families. Every Smarty Pants teacher has taken the training.
What happens after the parent has completed the developmental screening?
The ASQ-3 will be scored by the Smarty Pants director. After it has been scored, the director will decide whether the child is in the typically developing range or whether the score indicated any areas of concern for development. If there are no areas of concern, the screening results will be placed in the child’s file. We will re-screen the child in accordance with the schedule.
If the screening indicates one or more areas of concern, Smarty Pants will meet with the parents/guardians in private to discuss the score, and whether the parent would like a referral for the child to the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program, Child Find, Early Childhood Mental Health offices, or the child’s pediatrician for a re-screen. The results will be placed in the child’s file/record (the screen, the score results, and referral form). We will re-screen the child in accordance with the schedule.