Early Childhood Screenings
Early Childhood Screening is an early look at your child’s hearing, vision and development. Screening helps us to see your child’s skills in thinking, communication and language, large and small motor muscle, and social/emotional development.
Please note that this screening is different than your child’s annual physician checkup. Early Childhood Screening helps a school identify, at an early stage, possible learning or health concerns, and also helps to identify children who may benefit from district and community resources which may help with their development.
This FREE screening fulfills the state requirement for all children to be screened prior to starting kindergarten in any Minnesota public school.
- What’s the purpose of Early Childhood Screening?
- My child recently saw her doctor for a Well-Child check up. Can the results of that check up substitute for Early Childhood Screening?
- If my child does well at Early Childhood Screening, does this mean (s)he is ready for kindergarten?
- Do we need to do every part of Early Childhood Screening? My child is already being seen by a doctor for problems with her ears.
- We plan to send our child to a charter school for kindergarten. Is Early Childhood Screening still mandatory?
- What is the best age for a child to attend Early Childhood Screening?
Early Childhood Screening is a quick and simple check of how your child is growing and developing. Its purpose is to detect possible health or learning concerns, so that children can get help before they start school. If such health or learning concerns are identified at the screening, children are referred to appropriate professionals for further assessment and service or treatment if it is needed.
A health care provider can give a screening/check up that could take the place of Early Childhood Screening if their assessment is comparable to what is required by state law. The law that mandates Early Childhood Screening lists the following as basic requirements: developmental assessments, hearing and vision screening or referral, immunization review and referral, the child's height and weight, identification of risk factors that may influence learning, an interview with the parent about the child, and referral for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment when potential needs are identified. If you feel that your child’s health care provider has done all these components, please submit that medical record to District Health or the Early Childhood Screening Coordinator for review.
Early Childhood Screening is not an assessment of kindergarten readiness. Screening looks at some basic areas of growth and development, but does not evaluate all the skills that a child will need for a successful experience in kindergarten. Parents who come to screening with interest in kindergarten readiness skills should ask the screening staff for further information.
Parents have the right to decline any given component of the screening. The standard components of Early Childhood Screening in Winona are vision and hearing; height and weight; review of immunizations and health history; large and small muscle development; thinking, language and communication skills; and social and emotional development.
Early Childhood Screening is mandatory for children attending kindergarten at a public school in Minnesota. This regulation does not apply to charter schools. However, several of the local charter schools are now requiring Early Childhood Screening. We urge you to check with the administrator at the program in which you are planning to enroll your child.
The State of Minnesota recommends that children be screened between the ages of three and four, as this allows ample time to address any concerns that might be identified. At our screenings, we sometimes find that children do a bit better with meeting several new adults and moving to different screening areas when they are closer to three and a half. We encourage you to use your knowledge of your child to decide at what age you wish to schedule. If you have concerns about your child’s growth or learning, we urge you to schedule a screening as soon as possible after their third birthday.