Early Childhood Screening
New 2015 Legislative Changes to the Early Childhood Screening Program 
A new law effective July 1, 2015 requires Early Childhood Screening programs to record the date of the child’s most recent comprehensive vision exam, if the child has received one, and to submit the data to MDE beginning July 15, 2016. The legislation defines “comprehensive vision examination” as an examination performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. The law does not make a comprehensive vision exam a required component of Early Childhood Screening. Read more about the legislative change.

The early childhood years from birth to the start of kindergarten are an important time of rapid learning and growth.

Screening is a brief, simple procedure used to identify potential health or developmental problems in infants and young children who may need a health assessment, diagnostic assessment or educational evaluation.  Screening in early childhood supports children's readiness for kindergarten and promotes positive child health and developmental outcomes. 

Early Childhood Screening or evidence of a comparable screening by non-school provider (e.g., Head Start, Child & Teen Checkups/EPSDT or health care provider) is required for entrance in Minnesota’s public schools or within 30 days of enrollment into kindergarten.  Early Childhood Screening is offered throughout the year by local districts.

The information contained on this page is reflective of the interagency partnership between the Minnesota Department of Education, Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

A parent brochure describing the Early Childhood Screening program is available for download in black and white for families who speak English, Hmong, Somali, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese.

This page contains forms used for administering the Early Childhood Screening Program. The parent consent, the consent to release information, and the health history form are available in several languages. The Early Childhood Screening Summary form is available from this page.

The forms listed below have been developed in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Human Services and are applicable for the Head Start program and the Child & Teen Checkups/EPSDT program.

Early Childhood Screening Consent
Parent consent form for child's participation in Early Childhood Screening in English, Hmong SomaliSpanishRussian, Vietnamese.

Early Childhood Screening Health History
Health and Developmental History Form (3-5 years) that meets Early Childhood Screening, Head Start, and Child & Teen Checkups/EPSDT requirements in English, Hmong, SomaliRussian, Spanish, Vietnamese.

Early Childhood Screening Release of Information 
Parent consent form to release information for referrals from Early Childhood Screening in English, Hmong, Russian, SpanishSomali.

The Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System (MARSS) helps compute and report Minnesota school districts’ Early Childhood Screening aid entitlements. A MARSS Identification Number assigned at the time of a child's participation in an Early Childhood Screening Program or following a comparable screening in early childhood is a statutory requirement (Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.17, as amended by Chapter 5 Laws 2005 1st Special Session). A link to the MARSS procedure for the assignment of the education identification number is provided on the right side of this page.

Summary Child Health and Developmental Screening

School districts are required to use the Registration Form for Early Childhood Screening to assign MARSS identification numbers at the time of screening for all screening provided July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016. Download English Registration Form. This updated form reflects changes to demographic data about race and ethnicity. Translations are available in 10 other languages:  Arabic, Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Oromo, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese

The Early Childhood Screening program is provided through school districts according to standards identified in Minnesota Statutes and Rules.  The Early Childhood Screening program incorporates the Minnesota Department of Health standards for the screening of children.

Early Childhood Screening Program Standards
Quality Indicators Framework
The Quality Indicators Framework surveys and checklists are used to evaluate the quality of screening programs for children in Minnesota.  Screening programs can use a family questionnaire to evaluate screening program effectiveness.  The questionnaire is available in English, Hmong, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Quality Indicators Framework
Quality Indicators Framework Checklist