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State Requirements for Early Childhood Assessment
Preschool Assessment Requirements
The state requires preschool programs receiving state or certain federal funds to use a high quality early childhood assessment to support the learning of the children served by the program and to communicate progress to families. Preschool programs may receive funding to provide preschool special education services (for students meet state elibility criteria) or preschool programming (for students who qualify for the Colorado Preschool Program).
CDE is required to report annually to the Colorado General Assembly and the Office of Special Education Programs on the outcomes of children served by publicly funded preschool. CDE aggregates or combines outcome data from the early childhood assessments to report on the effectiveness of the programs that utilize public funds.
Kindergarten School Readiness Requirements
In 2008, the Colorado General Assembly passed Senate Bill 08-212, known as the Preschool through Postsecondary Alignment Act or Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K). This legislation requires every child in state funded kindergarten programs to have an individual school readiness plan to support the school readiness and success for each child. CAP4K also requires a child’s school readiness plan to be informed by assessments approved by the Colorado State Board of Education that are known to measure school readiness.
According to CAP4K, the areas of school readiness include:
Physical well-being and motor development
This includes a child’s ability to use small and large muscles to engage in learning activities and to meet his/her own needs.
Social and emotional development
This includes a child’s ability to follow limits, persist with learning tasks, make friends and take care of his or her own needs – all of which are important skills that contribute to the ability to participate effectively in a classroom environment.
Language and comprehension development
This includes a child’s ability to listen and understand, to express his/her thoughts and needs and to engage in appropriate conversations.
Cognition and general knowledge
This includes being able to solve problems, use symbols, and organize information that set the stage for later academic learning.
Approved kindergarten school readiness assessments are developmentally appropriate and provide teachers and families the information they need to support children in developing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school. The department is required by CAP4K to report population-level results that provide baseline data for measuring overall change and improvement in students' skills and knowledge over time.