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

Screening dual language learners

The Head Start Program Performance Standards require that all Early Head Start and Head Start children be screened "to the greatest extent possible" using standardized developmental screening instruments that are sensitive to the child’s cultural background (45 1304.20(b)(1), 45 CFR 1308.6(3)(b)(3)). 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 to programs working with all Dual Language Learners (DLLs). Select this link to download the guide [PDF, 1.6MB]. Note: These resources are under review.

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

  • Selecting screening instruments for DLLs
  • Implementing high-quality screening practices for Dual Language Learners

The guide includes a Planning and Implementation Worksheet [PDF, 78KB] 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, including DLLs.

Related Resources

Gathering and Using Language Information that Families Share [PDF, 1.4MB]

Understanding and Choosing Assessments and Developmental Screeners for Young Children Ages 3-5: Profiles of Selected Measures

Screening, Assessment, Evaluation & Observation

Developmental Screening – Child Development Learn the Signs. Act Early.

Last Reviewed: November 2016

Last Updated: November 3, 2016