Early Childhood Screening
What is Early Childhood Screening?
Early Childhood Screening is a free, simple check of a young child's health and development. The program connects parents and children to early childhood programs and community resources, and answers parenting questions. Screening should be done soon after the child's third birthday and is required for public school attendance. It does not determine kindergarten readiness.
Why should I have my child screened?
It identifies, at an early stage, possible health or learning concerns, so that children can get help before starting school.
Early Childhood Screening helps a school district identify children who may benefit from district and community resources available to help in their development. Early Childhood Screening includes screenings that help detect potential problems but is not a substitute for comprehensive exams.
What does screening include?
- a development check
- vision and hearing checks
- immunization and health review
Should I wait until my child is in kindergarten?
It is recommended that a child be screened shortly after their third birthday...3-1/2 years old is the perfect age. Waiting until a child is in school may be waiting too long if there are concerns. The developmental check tasks are based on your child's age, so tasks become more complex as your child gets older.
Does my child have to go through screening?
Yes, it is required for public school attendance. There are three ways to satisfy this requirement.
- Have the screening done by the district.
- Have a similar screening through Head Start or Child and Teen Checkups
- Have comparable screening through some health care providers.*
- You may also conscientiously object.*
(*If you choose these options, you must get forms from the Screening Office.)
Are appointments required?
Yes, schedule an appointment online or call 763-753-7170.
Appointments take about one hour.
What can I do prior to arriving?
Fill out the forms found on the Early Childhood Screening page.
What will my child be asked to do?
- take off shoes and stand on a scale
- raise hand to a sound heard through a headset
- play a matching game by pointing to a symbol that matches one shown
- build with small blocks
- draw shapes
- follow directions
- describe various items
- hop, walk, jump
Who will my child meet at screening?
- Receptionist: will check you in, review forms, and weigh and measure your child
- Nurse: will review hearing/vision results, health history, and immunization
- Developmental Screener: will ask your child to do a variety of tasks to check development
- Hearing and Vision Screener: will check your child¹s vision and hearing
- Exiter: will review with you the results of the developmental screen and provide resources
- Early Childhood Outreach Staff: will help you complete a district census form and monitor your progress through screening
Do you have helpful hints to make screening a success?
- make every effort to keep the appointment and arrive on time
- be sure your child has eaten and is rested
- practice the vision and hearing exercises
- make alternative child care arrangements for siblings
- prepare your questions about your child¹s growth and development to discuss with the exiter and nurse
- file the Screening Summary with your child's immunization and birth certificate (you will need them for kindergarten)
What happens after screening?
- records will remain with Early Childhood until Kindergarten
- if re-screening is needed, you will leave with an appointment or well call you
- if follow-up is needed, you will leave with a referral or we will call you
- contact the Early Childhood office if records need to be forwarded to another district
- contact us if you have questions at any time about your child's growth and development