04.02.01 - Child Development Assessment

Child Development Assessment Policy Number and Last Update


The Illinois Migrant Seasonal Head Start (IMSHS) assessment system is a partnership between IMSHS staff, parents, and other educational agencies serving children enrolled in IMSHS to promote and support children's School Readiness (SR). The objective is to attain as much information as possible to develop a complete picture of the child in other to provide optimal opportunities to promote children's development. The information should be used to jointly plan for and document the individual achievement of developmental milestones of all children, including children with disabilities. The staff will use the Galileo Assessment checklists to record and evaluate children's ongoing developmental progress.


  1. Before initiating classroom duties, all teaching staff receives training on: Stages of development; Galileo Assessment; Galileo data entry (for those entering assessment data); and observation and planning for children's development. In addition, preschool teachers are required to take the Inter-rater Reliability training and pass with an 80% or better.
  2. Teaching staff will document developmental progress in the domains of language & literacy, cognition & general knowledge, approaches to learning, physical development & health, and social & emotional development by assessing all children enrolled in IMSHS using the following G3 Galileo Assessment scales. Scales are available in English or Spanish.
    1. Infants & Toddlers:
      1. G3 Language & literacy-listening & understanding, communicating & speaking, early reading and print awareness, and early writing.
      2. G3 Cognition & general knowledge-exploration & discovery, concept development & memory, and problem-solving & creative expression.
      3. G3 Approaches to learning-eagerness & curiosity, persistence, and creativity & inventiveness.
      4. G3 Physical development & health-gross & fine motor, self-care, and self-help.
      5. G3 Social & emotional-trust and emotional security, self-regulation, and self-concept.
    2. Preschoolers:
      1. G3 Language & literacy- this area is subdivided into the following scales:
        1. G3 Language-listening & understanding (receptive and expressive), communicating & speaking, book appreciation
        2. G3 Literacy- phonological awareness, book knowledge and appreciation, alphabet knowledge, print concepts & conventions, and early writing
        3. G3 English Language Acquisition-progress towards English acquisition (comprehending and speaking, if English is not the child's first language.
      2. Cognition & general knowledge-this area is subdivided into the following scales:
        1. G3 logic and reasoning-reasoning & problem solving and symbolic representation;
        2. G3 Mathematics knowledge & skills-number concepts & quantities, number relationships & operations, geometry & spatial sense, patterns, and measurement & comparison;
        3. G3 Science knowledge & skills-scientific skills & method, conceptual knowledge of the natural & physical world; and
        4. G3 Social studies knowledge & skills-family & community, history & events, and people & the environment.
      3. Approaches to learning-this area is subdivided into the following scales:
        1. G3 Creative arts & expression-music, creative movement & dance, art, and drama.
        2. G3 Approaches to learning-Initiative & curiosity, persistence & attentiveness, and cooperation.
      4. G3 Physical development & health-gross & fine motor, self-care, and self-help.
      5. G3 Social & emotional-social relationships, emotional & behavioral health, self-regulation, and self-concept.
  3. The G3 Galileo Scales are organized by age ranges; birth to 08 months, 08 to 18 months, 18 to 24 months, 24 to 36 months, and 3 through 5 years. Each scale has capabilities at the end of the spectrum that are used as the beginning of the next age-range; therefore, providing a flawless continuum as the child's development grows.
    1. Teaching staff should use the child's age at enrollment as a guide to select the best age-range scale to use.
    2. If the child's age is at the end of the scale's age range, first try to get a baseline using the next age-range. For example, if the child is 7 months old, at enrollment, then the teaching staff selects the 8-18 scales first, instead of the 0-8 scales, and only move backward if they cannot establish a baseline in a developmental area using that age-range.
    3. It is possible that in some areas the child's development is more advanced than his current age, or in some cases lower. In these instances, the staff should use the age-range that best fits the child's development level for that area only-it is not necessary for the child to use the same age range for all the areas, nor is it necessary for him to complete all the scales in his age range before he is moved to the next age range for any particular developmental area.
    4. The teaching staff will assess preschool children with the Galileo 5-7, or the 7-9 scales, if the child has mastered all the capabilities in the G3 3-5 scales in math, language & literacy, nature & science, or in social development-only use the older age scale for the area the child has mastered. For example, the child has mastered all the capabilities in the G3 social development scale: In this case, the teaching staff starts using the 5-7 social development scale but continue using the G3 3-5 scales in the other areas until he has mastered those.
  4. Within one week of a child with disabilities attending or the IEP/IFSP meeting, the Disabilities Coordinator (DSC) schedules a meeting with the education staff and parents to discuss and plan for the individualization of the child's instruction and assessment. Thereafter, the DSC and teaching staff shall meet at least once a month, to reassess and/or modify strategies. Parents shall be invited to the meetings and kept informed at all times. Meetings will be documented in the Child Inclusion & Environment Modification Plan including:
    1. Modifications/adaptations needed in the classroom arrangement for the child to participate;
    2. Adaptive equipment and/or materials needed in the classroom for the child to be able to participate in all classroom activities with his peers;
    3. Goals/objectives in the IEP or IFSP that can be promoted, and how, in the classroom; and,
    4. Modifications, if any, needed in any of the Galileo scales.
  5. Teaching staff should collect information/results on children's screenings, evaluations or examinations from the Education, Health and Disabilities, Coordinators. Staff should evaluate how this information affects the child's developmental progress, participation in the classroom, or socialization with his peers.
  6. Assessing children:
    1. Teaching staff decide what language they will use to assess children and who will be primarily responsible for assessing what children and post list on bulletin board;
    2. Teaching staff complete a baseline assessment for each child as soon as possible after enrollment, but no later than their third week of enrollment;
    3. Teaching staff will continually observe children's development and will use a Portfolio system, of their choice, to document it throughout the month;
    4. During the last week of each month, teaching staff will use the G3 Galileo Assessments scales to assess developmental progress of children currently enrolled;
    5. Depending on the length of the program, the teaching staff will analyze children's developmental data and use it to modify the environment and plan activities to promote the child's development. Teaching staff with computers in their rooms and access to the internet can choose to write their anecdotal notes in the Galileo website and do not have to print them daily.
    6. At the end of each week, teaching staff review Parent/Teacher conference forms, observation notes, pictures, audio recordings, and work samples, and use this information with the Creative Curriculum, to plan activities, modify the environment or teaching strategies, and provide optimal opportunities to promote children's development.
    7. Teaching staff should collect information/results on children's screenings, evaluations or examinations from the Education, Health and Disability Coordinators. Staff should evaluate how this information affects the child's developmental progress, participation in the classroom, or socialization with his peers.
  7. Delegates are required to aggregate SR data and analyze it according to the following guidelines:
    1. Del Valle MHS, in Oswego, Migrant Education, in Cobden, and River Valley, in Kankakee-at three checkpoints during the season: June 30th, August 15th, and October 15th;
    2. Lessie Bates, in East St. Louis-at two checkpoints during the season: June 30th and August 15th, or within five days of closing;
    3. Tap In Leadership Academy, in Champaign and Princeville MHS, in Princeville-at three checkpoints during the season: July 15th, September 1st, and October 31st; and,
    4. Illiana MHS, in Sheldon and Kid Zone, in Olney-at two checkpoints during the season: July 30th and October 1st, or within five days of closing.
    5. IMPORTANT: Data for ALL kinder-eligible children, regardless of enrollment time, must be aggregated and analyzed at two checkpoints-programs choose dates depending on transition dates.
  8. Scales are modified, according to special needs, if necessary.
  9. Both teacher and teacher assistants are responsible for completing the Galileo assessments. Children should be divided equally among them.
  10. Teaching staff with Internet access will enter the assessments directly into the Galileo online at: www.ati-online.com at least once a week. If teachers do not have access to computers in classrooms they must have a paper copy of the assessments so that they can continually update them and then transfer the data into the website, at least weekly. A data entry person can be assigned to enter the information at regular intervals so that it is available when assessment reports need to be analyzed.
  11. Two Individual Knowledge Proficiency Profile Reports must be printed at each checkpoint. One copy of this assessment report is given to the parents and a signed copy is added to the Family File folder. After their last assessment, an Individual Assessment History Report is printed and filed. (Report available in the Report tab of the website)
  12. Additionally, a Classroom Knowledge Proficiency Profile Report and Outcome Analysis Reports should be printed and analyzed at each check point. (Report available in the Report tab of the website)
  13. Teaching and delegate management staff will analyze assessment data at each checkpoint. For children enrolling mid-season, data will be analyzed individually.
  14. Parent engagement:
    1. Teaching staff will plan a home visit or parent conference within 10 days of children's assessments to discuss results and plan goals.
      1. Teachers should view home visits and parent conferences as an opportunity to bridge communication. Insights provided by parents are very important because children often display capabilities in one setting that may not be easily observed in another.
      2. Home visits or parent conferences are an ideal time to solicit parent observations, discuss children's progress, and together plan for the continued developmental progress of each child.
      3. Share information about children's social, emotional, and cognitive development and the importance of home language.
      4. if parents have access to a computer, provide them with a User ID to the Galileo web-page and show them how to navigate the page to check on their child's progress.
      5. Parents will be given a copy of Knowledge Proficiency Profile Report after their child's assessment in their primary language. 
    2. When necessary, contact families via e-mails, notitas, or phone calls to gather child information and parent observations to inform teaching.
    3. Whenever possible, engage parents in conversations and share child assessment data to help parents learn about children's progress.
    4. Teachers use all parent contacts to assist the parents in developing and enhancing observation skills.
  15. Education Coordinators assist teachers, as necessary, to assign scales and assess children, monitor that assessments are completed, as stated in the procedure.
  16. Teaching staff should use all this information to make adaptations to the indoor/outdoor environment, expanding and planning activities that support children's interests, strengths and acquisition of new skills.
  17. Review the Education Services Plan & Outcomes Procedure for instructions on analyzing and using data.