Early Childhood Screening and Assessment

To help support a child’s learning and development, it’s essential to start by understanding their current skills and behavior, include strengths and areas of challenge. Screening and assessment help you partner with families to make appropriate referrals and to plan supports and services.

Choosing and using appropriate screening and assessment tools takes thought and planning. OEC has two documents to guide you.

Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ-3)

The ASQ-3 is a developmental screening tool that is completed by a child’s caregiver(s). Caregivers can complete it on paper, online, or through the Sparkler App. Many early childhood programs help families complete the ASQ-3. They follow up to review results, make appropriate referrals, and provide families with strategies to support learning.

The Sparkler app is free to early childhood programs in CT and can help providers complete this screening process and connect with families.

Families can also get help completing the ASQ-3 through CT Help Me Grow at the 2-1-1 Child Development Infoline at 800-505-7000. Families and providers can call the Infoline with questions or concerns about children’s development, behavior, or learning and can access information, resources, and referrals.

Connecticut’s Documentation & Observation for Teaching System (CT DOTS)

Used in conjunction with the CT ELDS, CT DOTS is a foundation for:

  • Gathering data about children’s skills, abilities, and behaviors
  • Planning additional supports (e.g., curriculum, instruction, professional development, family activities, adult support) 
  • Summarizing evidence of children’s progress
  • Communicating around common goals

CT DOTS guides early care and education providers in how to:

  • Observe children in naturally-occurring situations
  • Plan engaging experiences for children and observe their behavior CT DOTS
  • Partner with families to share information about their children

For more information, visit the CT DOTS webpage.

Last updated January 4, 2024