The early childhood years from birth to the beginning of kindergarten are an incredibly vital time of rapid growth and learning. Many families are curious if their children are on track in learning and wonder if they’re up to speed on what they need to know before starting school. Early childhood screenings are a great way to check on how your child is progressing, and they can also identify at an early age whether or not there are health or learning concerns that could affect the child once they enroll in school.
What is early childhood screening?
These screenings evaluate the overall development of the child including checking hearing/vision, motor skills, thinking skills, communication and language skills, problem solving, and emotional and social development. The screenings are available through school districts for free and through most pediatrician offices at a fee. If a child is screened and found to have delays, the family and the child may be eligible to obtain services to help them through the specific areas of delay. Gahlya Auel, case manager from the Early Childhood Evaluation Center of Vancouver Public Schools, shares, “There are no guidelines for the free screening. All a family has to do is call us up and we will get them scheduled. There is no prescreening. You can have a large concern, or just want to see how your child is developing if you have a slight concern.”