Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Parents Choosing Child Care? Ask about the ASQ!
I was recently in a conference where I a social worker was telling us she was working with several high-quality centers and asking them to participate in screening their children using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). I asked her how many of the centers were already using the assessment she told me non. What I did not tell her is that I am an early childhood expert and the answer to her question told me these centers were not meeting industry standards for high-quality centers. Because the one thing high-quality centers do is assess children both formally and informally.
The ASQ is the only formal assessment which gives a complete and accurate picture in all four domains of early educations (language, physical, social/emotional, and intellectual) from year to year of how a child is progressing. If a center is not using the ASQ to establish a baseline for the informal development it is impossible for them to be able to properly asses the whole child using informal means of observation. Although, centers can use portfolios, developmental checklists, and other tools to assess children's development without the ASQ the measurements are not giving a clear and succinct picture of where the child is starting out and where they are at the end of a year.
If you are a parent looking for a high-quality center one of the questions you should as is when do you administer the ASQ? I would ask this on a phone call. It will help you weed out centers quickly. Please do not get me wrong. A center can be of fairly good quality if they are not using the ASQ. However, according to industry standards it not considered high-quality without the assessment in place.
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