Child Screening & Assessment

Screening Dual Language Learners in Early Head Start and Head Start: A Guide for Program Leaders

Children playing drumsThe Head Start Program Performance Standards require that all Early Head Start and Head Start children receive a developmental screening using research-based standardized developmental screening instruments that are valid and reliable for the population and purpose for which they will be used; age, developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate, and appropriate for children with disabilities, as needed; and conducted by qualified and trained personnel (45 CFR § 1302.33(a)(2); 45 CFR § 1302.33(c)(1)). Currently, standardized screening instruments for children birth to age 5 are widely available in English and Spanish, but are virtually unavailable for children whose families speak other languages. This document features suggestions for programs working with all children who are Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and their families.

See PDF version: Screening Dual Language Learners in Early Head Start and Head Start

This resource provides program leaders the tools to plan, implement, and evaluate their screening processes for children from birth to age 5, who are DLLs. It focuses on ways that leaders can make informed and intentional decisions about:

  • Selecting screening instruments for children who are DLLs
  • Implementing high-quality screening practices for children who are DLLs

The guide includes a Planning and Implementation Worksheet designed for Early Head Start and Head Start teams to use. It helps ensure that their screening process provides the best possible results for all children.

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