Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Child Assessment Statement & Sample Child Assessment Tool

Think about all you know about the children in your program. You know about their interests, their likes and dislikes, their strengths and challenges, their backgrounds and cultures. How did you gain this information and how do you use it to plan and deliver a quality program? Most likely, you gained this information through every day interaction and observation. It’s from this information that you make decisions that influence the lives of the children and families you serve.

Children develop and progress at different rates and their development and progress may follow different patterns. Understanding different patterns and rates of development helps you plan and deliver activities that encourage each child’s growth, development, and success.

a young girl holding a magnifying glass over a flower pot
Information from Observation

This section guides you to describe how your program uses observations and ongoing child assessment tools to learn about the children in your program, plan lessons for them, and monitor their developmental progress. To meet the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Developmental Progress: DAP 9.5, you will submit a statement that describes your program’s observation and ongoing child assessments practices. You will also upload a sample child assessment tool.

NOTE: There are no Development Progress requirements for School-Age Only programs.

Select the Requirements tab to learn about key information to include in your documentation.

Requirements

The following interactive shows you the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Developmental Progress: DAP 9.5. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot for information about what to include in your documentation.

Select the option that applies to your program type:

 

Child Care Center

Family Child Care
DAP 9.5: Developmental Progress Provider observes children’s progress and conducts ongoing assessments that include: observation and anecdotal records, portfolios; and checklists that are either designed for or aligned with the curriculum. Documentation to submit: Child Assessment Statement & Sample Child Assessment Tool

School-Age Only
DAP 9.5: Developmental Progress There is no developmental progress requirement for School-Age Only programs.

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Developmental Progress: DAP 9.5, you will upload:

  • A statement that describes your program’s ongoing assessment practices that include:

    Observation

    • How your program uses observation to monitor children’s progress
    • Who conducts observations and child assessments
    • When and how often observations and child assessments are completed
    • How information from observations and child assessments are used to inform program activities

    Other Assessment Tools

    • Developmental checklists designed for, or aligned with, your program’s curriculum
    • Anecdotal Records
    • Portfolios
  • A sample child assessment tool used in your program

The Policy or Statement Builder provides a step-by-step guide for creating your statement.






Ongoing Observation and Assessment Practices

Without even noticing, you watch children and you learn about them. You listen and you learn about them. You talk with children and you learn about them. You use what you learn to provide a nurturing environment with materials, activities, and opportunities that encourage their growth, development, and learning.

Observation and other assessment methods such as anecdotal records, portfolios, and checklists designed for, or aligned with, curriculum are useful in monitoring children’s developmental progress. Information from a variety of assessment tools can be used to adjust activities that offer new challenges and experiences, and support children’s development, learning, and success.

 

What does the documentation look like?

  • A statement clearly explains your program’s use of observation and ongoing assessment tools to monitor children’s progress. Your statement describes:
     

    Ongoing Observation Practices:

    • How your program conducts observations
    • Who conducts the observations
    • When and how often observations are conducted
    • How information from observations is used to monitor children’s progress and inform program activities

    Ongoing Assessment Practices:

    • Developmental checklists designed for, or aligned with, your program’s curriculum
    • Anecdotal Records
    • Portfolios
  • A sample child assessment tool used in your program
 

How can you tell if you're on the right track?

Read your statement carefully to make sure it clearly describes how observation and ongoing assessment tools are used in your program. Consider underlining key sentences that describe how, when, by whom, and how often observations and ongoing assessments are conducted. Your statement should also describe how you use anecdotal records, portfolios, and developmental checklists designed for, or aligned with, your program’s curriculum.

 

Where can you learn more?

This presentation features a variety of assessment methods, including the use of anecdotal records, checklists, and work samples to monitor children’s progress.

Observing Young Children

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides checklists and video resources of developmental milestones for children ages 2 months to 5 years.

This article from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides information on observing young children including five reasons to use observation in your program.

Wondering with Children: The Importance of Observation in Early Childhood Education





Policy or Statement Builder

This interactive helps you write a statement that describes how observation and ongoing child assessment tools are used in your program. You have the option of emailing your responses to yourself and editing your final statement before uploading it to the Maryland EXCELS System. Writing your responses in full sentences now gives you a head-start for editing your statement later.

 

Build-A-Statement: Observation & Ongoing Assessment

Final Touches

Check your documents as you prepare to upload them to the Maryland EXCELS System.

 

Check to be sure your documentation includes:

 
 
 

Save your document:

  • Use a file name that you can find easily when you upload it to the system. (example: develop-progress-qr5.docx)
  • Use any one of these formats:
    • Typed electronic version of your statement and sample assessment tool (examples: Microsoft Word, PDF)
    • Scanned version of your your statement and sample assessment tool (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)
    • Identified section within your handbook and sample assessment tool (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)

Next Steps

Use the following guide to upload your documentation, look ahead, and think about a plan for ongoing improvement.

 

Step 1: Prepare to Upload Your Document

  • Locate your username and password for logging into your Maryland EXCELS account
  • Locate where you saved your written document on the computer
 

Step 2: Look Ahead and Plan for Improvement

Look Ahead

Congratulations! You are ready to upload documents for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Developmental Progress: DAP 9.5. If your documentation meets the requirements, celebrate your commitment to quality practices related to assessment and monitoring children’s progress.

Plan for Improvement

Set a goal to continue to learn about child assessment methods and tools. Researchers continue to learn more and more about child development. Challenge yourself to stay up-to-date on new recommendations and evidence-based practices.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (DAP 9.5)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your statement and developmental checklist.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box
Upload Documentation