Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! A Compendium of Screening Measures for Young Children

Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! Collaborative
March 27, 2014
This compendium of research-based screening tools for children under the age of 5 can help early childhood practitioners determine appropriate care.
smiling toddler girl

The compendium is a collection of research-based screening tools for children under the age of 5. It has been designed primarily to support early childhood practitioners in the choices they make when selecting or changing their developmental screening tools. Practitioners in early care and education, primary health care, and other systems can use the resource to learn cost, administration time, required training, and age range covered for each screening tool. The compendium aims to examine the purpose of developmental screening and how it differs from child assessment; “translate” technical psychometric information about the reliability and validity of commonly used developmental screening tools into language that is easily understood by early childhood practitioners; and highlight areas in which the early childhood field is lacking information on reliability and validity of available developmental screening tools.

This resource was developed by the Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! collaborative, a coordinated effort from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education to encourage developmental and behavioral screening and support for children, families, and the providers who care for them.

Each piece of the compendium provides different information, and a practitioner might tailor use of the compendium differently depending upon their goals. Those who want to look across the most commonly used developmental screening tools for certain information may want to start with the summary tables and then choose a smaller set of tools to examine in more detail by reading through the individual profiles. Alternatively, those who currently use one of the developmental screening tools included in the compendium and are interested in seeing detailed information on its reliability and validity may want to turn directly to the individual profile for that tool.

Five Parts of the Compendium

  • Introduction: outline of the purpose of the compendium and developmental screening, importance of developmental screeners, and compendium organization and use
  • Summary Tables: a set of tables summarizing common information from each screening tool
  • Individual Instrument Profiles: a set of profiles providing more detailed information for each of the screening tools reviewed
  • Definition of Standards: an overview of the standards used to evaluate the reliability and validity of the tools (Appendix A)
  • Glossary: a glossary defining key terms used throughout the compendium (Appendix B)
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