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HomeNewsEducationEarly Childhood Screening Helps Parents Understand Early Childhood Development

Early Childhood Screening Helps Parents Understand Early Childhood Development

The years between birth and the start of kindergarten are a time of rapid growth and development for children, and potential learning difficulties are more easily aided if they are detected sooner in children. Early vision screen­ing to detect whether a child needs glasses is extremely import­ant. Minnesota state law requires all chil­dren who have not ob­tained an exemption per parental wishes to complete Early Child­hood Screening be­fore entering kinder­garten.

Early Childhood Screening is free and screens children in multiple areas: speech, language, concepts, gross and fine mo­tor skills, vision and hearing, height and weight, and immuni­zations. Screening has the potential to link families to free early learning opportunities and resources, includ­ing Head Start, Early Childhood Family Education, prekinder­garten programs, Early Childhood Spe­cial Education, Early Learning Scholar­ships, and home visit­ing programs.

At the screening, families can expect their child to par­ticipate in simple building, drawing, and talking activi­ties, as well as simple games. The tool used to screen development can be used with chil­dren ages 3 to 5, and is scored according to age – while the same questions are asked of three-year-olds and five-year-olds, the expectations are differ­ent, and children are not expected to com­plete every item in the screening.

Children are giv­en “silly sunglasses” during the hearing and vision portion of the screening. These glasses allow them to only see through one eye. They will also wear headphones and listen to tones. Vari­ous strategies will be used as needed to help children complete the screenings.

The facilitators of the screening under­stand child develop­ment and know the screening is a “snap­shot” of a child’s de­velopment. Resources and support will be shared with families based on their child’s needs and skills.

“Screening is a great opportunity to check your child’s hearing, vision, and development. It isn’t meant to be stressful or intimidating,” pro­gram coordinator Kim Lenski says. “We try to keep the screening lighthearted and fun.”

To schedule a screening, contact 218-226-4437 ext. 8158 in Silver Bay, or 218-834-8201 ext. 8230 in Two Harbors. Scheduling is also available through the website https://lakesuperiorcomed.ce.eleyo.com/.  

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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