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Early Childhood Programs

Early Learning Outcomes Reporting

Assessing children's progress in early childhood programs. Assessment is a critical piece in high-quality standards-aligned programs.  Parents, teachers and caregivers are the most qualified to assess young children because they observe children in authentic environments, and are most familiar with each child’s development and learning expectations.  Teachers observe children through all activities in the day that yield the necessary information to determine skill levels. They collect information through many different sources of evidence, such as regular family engagement, observations throughout a child’s daily routines, collection of children’s artwork or writing samples, and by talking with the child or other adults about the child's accomplishments.  This information is used to make good decisions about how to support children’s learning and development. 

Child outcome data should not be used to determine placement in a program, class or special education, or to deny or exclude access to eligible services.   

Reporting child outcomes. Pennsylvania is transforming how child outcomes are reported through the Early Learning Network (ELN). Started in 2012-13, the new strategy allows early childhood providers to choose from a list of approved child assessment tools. Within these tools, providers are able to create their own classrooms, enter staff and children, and generate teacher and parent reports by fully utilizing the assessment company’s online products. ELN no longer limits a provider’s ability to use an online assessment tool. Child outcomes reported to the state will consist of only those outcomes that align to specific PA Early Learning Standards.

information for early learning providers


Overview of Outcomes Reporting

Fact sheets on approved assessment tools for 2014 - 15

Infant-toddler (0-3 years)


Pre-kindergarten (3-5 years) 




Who participates?

  • Administrators and Practitioners in:
    • STAR 3 and 4 child care centers, groups, and family child care homes
    • State-Funded Head Start (HSSAP)
    • PA Pre-K Counts
  • Best Practice for Assessments 

What are the recommended reporting requirements?


  • Sessions are scheduled at the Early Childhood Summit in October. More information to follow.



The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) within the Pennsylvania Departments of Public Welfare and Education (Department) is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to seek input from the publishers of evidence-based authentic assessments that are interested in submitting authentic assessment tools for review and possible use by child care/early learning providers in certain OCDEL-funded programs. Our hope is that the strategies and solutions identified in the responses will assist the Department and the Commonwealth in making informed decisions on the best approach.

In 2013, the Commonwealth issued a Request for Information for interested vendors for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which was due September 27, 2013.

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