As many as one in four children under the age of 6 are at risk for a developmental delay or disability. Developmental screening/evaluation is a process involving partnerships with parents to identify concerns about a child's development. Screening alone is not enough to identify a developmental concern. Rather, it helps staff and parents decide whether to refer a child for more evaluation by a qualified professional. The earlier a possible delay is identified, the earlier a program can refer a child for further evaluation and additional supports and services.
Developmental evaluation involves research-based standardized developmental instruments that are utilized for the birth to five population to make appropriate diagnosis for appropriate placement. This process has four components: administration of structured items, direct observations, caregiver report, and history. Information are gathered from family members, teachers, and other staff who is familiar with the child as part of the assessment process.