LACOE Head Start
The Los Angeles County Office of Education Head Start–State Preschool Program (LACOE Head Start) adopted ASQ and ASQ:SE as their official standardized screening tools in 2005.
LACOE Head Start is successfully using ASQ and ASQ:SE to identify concerns regarding a child’s developmental, behavioral, motor, language, social, cognitive, perceptual, and emotional skills. Results from the questionnaires are used in conjunction with other information gathered by the program to refer children for further assessment to determine need for additional services.
LACOE Head Start also intends to use ASQ and ASQ:SE as a planning tool with parents to determine areas where they might need support and with teachers to enable them to better individualize instruction for children.
After their decision to adopt both ASQ and ASQ:SE, LACOE Head Start shared their research and the specific reasons behind their choice.
Why LACOE Head Start Chose ASQ and ASQ:SE
- ASQ and ASQ:SE meet the requirement of of the HR 2123 (Head Start School Readiness Act), which requires Head Start programs to use high-quality research-based developmental screening tools. Highly qualified developmental screening tools are those that have been demonstrated to be standardized, reliable, valid, and accurate (that is, both sensitive and specific, correctly detecting children with and without problems) for children from a range of racial, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds.LACOE found the ASQ to meet these requirements.
- ASQ and ASQ:SE came highly recommended by the Los Angeles County Early Identification & Intervention (EEI) Group, which was honored to receive the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Dale Richmond Award for outstanding achievement in the field of child development.The EII Group is a diverse cross-sector coalition of public, nonprofit, and private organizations that have joined together to ensure that every Los Angeles child receives high quality developmental screenings and that any child needing help receives it at the earliest possible moment.
- LACOE Head Start piloted another tool that is rated to be high quality but found it provided limited information to meet program needs. Furthermore, the scoring results on the tool (administered by a group of delegate agency staff) were inconsistent.Then LACOE conducted a survey of its delegate agencies already familiar with and currently using the ASQ and ASQ:SE. The responses were favorable, with the only concern being the length of the time required for parents to complete the questionnaires.
- ASQ and ASQ:SE are low-cost screening instruments. LACOE Head Start purchased the tool for all its delegate agencies.
- Parental involvement is crucial in Head Start. ASQ and ASQ:SE are parent-report tools that meaningfully involve and inform parents, that yield benefits beyond screening, and are less subject to bias than tools that rely on observations by professionals who may be from a different culture, race, ethnicity or socio-economic group. They encourage parent-teacher collaboration.
- ASQ and ASQ:SE allow children to be tested in a familiar environment and at the parents’ convenience. Activities are designed to let children demonstrate daily living skills, which often involve the use of items children are familiar with such as cereal boxes, balls, toys, paper, or crayons.
- ASQ and ASQ:SE is written in simple, straightforward language; pictures are provided when possible; and real examples are included to assist teachers and parents in completing each item. The LACOE Head Start program and its delegate agencies found the tools to be user friendly.
- The Ages & Stages Learning Activities are great. They provide teachers and parents with strategies to use in working with children at various skill levels. LACOE Head Start purchased a copy of the book for every site operated by our Head Start programs.