Has your child had their Early Childhood Screening?  If they’re enrolled in a public school in the state of Minnesota and they are in Preschool or Kindergarten, they likely have. Early Childhood Screening is a free program in Minnesota that checks how a child is developing and growing. It is required for entrance in Minnesota’s public schools and screenings are performed free of charge in your local school district. At Central Public Schools, screenings are offered approximately 5 times throughout the year.

 Early Childhood Screening (ECS) by a school district or evidence of a comparable screening by a non-school provider is required for entrance in Minnesota’s public schools. The Early Childhood Screening program includes vision and hearing, height and weight, immunization review, review of health care coverage, risk factors which may impact learning, large and small muscles, thinking, language and speaking skills as well as parent report of social emotional development, and a parent summary meeting. There is no pass or fail, but screening in early childhood supports children’s readiness for kindergarten and promotes positive child health and developmental outcomes through referrals to early learning opportunities. 

Developmental screening results are interpreted according to your child's chronological age, so there is no benefit to waiting until right before your child enters school to complete their Early Childhood Screening. Having your child screened between their child’s 3rd and 4th birthday is recommended to provide the best opportunity for any health or developmental concerns to be addressed early.  

For the last several years, Central Schools Early Childhood Screening has partnered with the NYA West Carver Lions Kidsight program to complete an additional vision screening during Early Childhood Screenings. This vision screener is capable of screening for near-sightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and pupil size deviations.  In addition, it detects unequal refractive power and eye misalignment which can result in amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye”. Following a referral through this screening, parents can bring their child to an eye doctor for a more comprehensive exam.  Not only has this program helped detect vision concerns for several children, they also partner with local eye clinics to provide financial support to families when needed to help offset the cost of eye exams and glasses. Central Schools is so thankful for this partnership that allows students to receive the vision correction needed to help them be successful in school.  

Sign up online or view upcoming screening dates by visiting: Central Schools Early Childhood Screening.  Not yet old enough for screening? Fill out this form to be reminded to make an Early Childhood Screening appointment when your child turns 3.  

Here’s what local families have to say about Early Childhood Screening at Central Schools: 

“Through Early Childhood Screening we were referred to a great eye doctor where it was found that our child needed glasses.  Our child never verbalized having trouble seeing.  Without Early Childhood Screening we may not have noticed she was having trouble seeing.  We’re so grateful we had our child screened!” 

“Compared to screenings for my other kids, doing it at Central was a MUCH better experience! Very smooth and on time, which is always appreciated.  Quick and painless.”  

“We were able to get early intervention for speech therapy with two of our children because of screening.” 

“Everyone was very welcoming and friendly and fully explained what they would be doing.  It was a very easy experience.”