Curriculum

The curriculum provides guidance on ongoing child assessment. Ongoing child assessment is a process in which families and home visitors observe and gather information to understand and support children's development and learning over time. Information gathered through observation helps home visitors and families support children's individual interests and needs. Information from ongoing observations can also be used to periodically complete standardized and structured assessment instruments to evaluate children's developmental progress.

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  • Four star rating graphic Full Evidence
  • Three star rating graphic Moderate Evidence
  • Two star rating graphic Minimal Evidence
  • One star rating graphic No Evidence

Curriculum

Rating

Review

Partners for a Healthy Baby

Full Review & Ratings
Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Ongoing Observation: The curriculum provides general guidance in parent handouts to help families and home visitors reflect, every month or two, on a child's development (1 to 36 months). For example, a series of "Detailed Information Pages" for home visitors, called "Continue to promote parents' observation and reflection skills with baby," provide home visitors with general suggestions for supporting parents in their observations (e.g., "Your role is to help the family continue to be careful observers of what is happening with their baby and how their interactions are changing over time"). These pages mention a "Review, Observe, Reflect" process, but the curriculum does not provide details on how to engage in this process or what it entails. The parent handouts include sentence starters for families to use as they think about the child's development, such as "I can tell my baby is interested in something when ...," but the handouts do not include specific guidance on how to observe children. Additionally, the curriculum does not provide information on how to connect this information to home visit planning. 

Standardized and Structured Assessment Instruments: The curriculum provides information on using developmental screening tools (e.g., Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ®)) based on parental observation and reflection as the basis for screening. However, it does not include guidance for home visitors and families on how to select and use standardized and structured child assessment instruments.

Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Ongoing Observation: Baby TALK describes a process for observing and discussing children's development and using this information for home visit planning. The Encounter Protocol for each month includes explicit guidance to promote regular observation of the child by the home visitor and the parent during the visit. For example, at 1 Month activities, "Simply look at the baby with the parents for 10–30 seconds. Does the baby look to the parent or caregiver for praise or approval?" The Personal Encounter Documentation form requires the home visitor to note specific child behaviors observed during the visit. Then, the document HV Guideline for Preparation encourages the home visitor to reflect on past observations when planning the next visit (e.g., "What parent-child interactions have I observed in the past that I will build on during this encounter?"). Additionally, the Baby TALK monthly activities use the prompt, "Let's wonder together," with open-ended questions the home visitor can use to encourage parents to share their ongoing observations of their child (e.g., At 2 Months activities: "What changes have you noticed in your baby's awareness of her body parts? What does she like to do with her hands and feet?"). Similar prompts can be found in other monthly activity files. 

Standardized and Structured Assessment Instruments: Baby TALK makes a reference to standardized and structured assessment instruments to assess developmental progress. However, it provides minimal guidance on how home visitors can engage parents in collaboratively using standardized instruments to assess children's development. Specifically, the Baby TALK White Paper mentions the Ages and Stages Questionnaires, the Hawaii Early Learning Profile, and the Battelle Developmental Inventory as instruments to conduct developmental screenings, a process different from assessment. The Individual Family Case File Checklist mentions that developmental assessment should be "ongoing/every 6 months." No further guidance is provided within the curriculum materials on how standardized and structured assessments are to be incorporated into the program. Although the curriculum provides a structured assessment tool called the Family Resource Assessment & Monitoring, which includes a section to discuss family concerns, needs, and resources pertaining to the child's health and development, it only covers broad topics rather than specific skills and developmental milestones.

Parents as Teachers Foundational Curriculum: Prenatal to 3

Full Review & Ratings
Four star rating graphicFull Evidence

Ongoing Observation: A variety of resources in the curriculum describe a process for observing and discussing children's development and using this information for home visit planning. For example, "Be an observer of your child" describes specific strategies for families to use as they observe their child (e.g., "Take time to just watch your baby. You'll soon see changes in the sounds she makes, the way she notices her surroundings, and the way she holds and moves her body."). The "What's Special About this Age?" series of resources for every few months of development provides prompts for each of the milestones to guide observation (e.g., "Look for your baby to..."). In addition, the "Foundational Personal Visit Plans" offer opportunities for parents to share and discuss their observations of children.

Standardized and Structured Assessment Instruments: Parents as Teachers provides guidance on using the "Milestones by School Readiness" charts as a standardized and structured assessment instrument to regularly assess children's developmental progress. "Guidance for Ongoing Assessment Using the Milestones by School Readiness Domain" describes the importance of parents and home visitors regularly observing children and using the data that they collect to inform home visit planning. This document also provides information on the instrument's reliability and validity, as well as how to use the instrument appropriately for diverse groups of children (e.g., children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs).

Growing Great Kids™ for Preschoolers

Full Review & Ratings
Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Ongoing Observation: Growing Great Kids™ for Preschoolers provides minimal guidance on observing and discussing children's development and learning. Growing Great Families: A Family Strengthening, Stress Management, and Life Skills Curriculum (Growing Great Families) suggests that home visitors and parents do the activity "Getting in Sync with My Child" during each home visit. This activity provides prompts for parents to reflect on what a child is feeling and how to provide emotional support. However, the curriculum materials in Growing Great Kids for Preschoolers do not provide a process for ongoing observation of children's development or how to use information from observation to plan future home visits.

Standardized and Structured Assessment Instruments: The curriculum does not provide direction for how home visitors and families select and use standardized and structured child assessment instruments. It does offer information on using developmental screening tools (e.g., Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA)) in Growing Great Families, but no information on assessment instruments.

Growing Great Kids™: Prenatal–36 Months

Full Review & Ratings
Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Ongoing Observation: The "Child Development Milestone Charts" provide some general guidance parents and home visitors can use to observe children's behaviors and skills in different domains (e.g., a home visitor is encouraged to prompt parents, "As we go through the list, you can tell me what she is already doing"). Additionally, some activities throughout the manuals offer conversational prompts that could guide home visitors and families to reflect on a child's development (e.g., an activity designed to support toddler independence starts with conversational prompts to reflect on a child's self-care skills). The curriculum does not provide specific guidance on how to use information from observation to plan future home visits.

Standardized and Structured Assessment Instruments: The curriculum does not provide guidance for how home visitors and families select and use standardized and structured child assessment instruments. The curriculum offers information on using developmental screening tools (e.g., Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA)) in Growing Great Families, but no information on assessment instruments.