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FAQ about Early Childhood Screening

What is Early Childhood Screening?

Early Childhood Screening is a FREE check of a child's hearing and vision, weight and height, health history, immunizations, speech and language, general development and motor skills. Minnesota law requires Early Childhood Screening before a child can enter kindergarten. 

Early Childhood Screening is NOT a readiness test for kindergarten, and the results will not affect your child's ability to enroll in kindergarten. Screening identifies children who may have health or developmental concerns and allows for appropriate assistance as early as possible. This assistance helps children get off to a good start when they enter school. Parents gain information about their child's health and overall development at screenings, in addition to available resources that help children grow. 

We strive to make screening welcoming, fun, and positive for every child but understand that it can be a new and scary experience. To help your child get ready for Early Childhood Screening, talk with them about how they will be playing fun games, getting ready for school, and having their eyes and ears checked. 

To learn more, check out this video from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Is Early Child Screening required?

Early Childhood Screening is a requirement for Kindergarten enrollment in Minnesota public schools. Many preschool programs, including those at Centennial, also require screening for preschool enrollment.

When should my child get screened?

A child can be screened anytime after age 3, but we recommend screening your child between ages 3 1/2 and 4, especially if you have concerns (ie: hearing, vision, speech, behavior, development). 

How do I schedule a screening appointment?

Screenings are held once a month throughout the school year and available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please click here

You may also call 763-792-6120 or email to make an appointment. 

How long is an appointment?

Screening takes about an hour per child, including a parent summary at the end of screening.

Why do I need to bring a copy of my child's immunizations with me to my appointment? What if they are already on file with the district?

Per state statute, a nurse is required to review your child's immunizations with you to make sure they are up to date, even if they are already on file with the district. If you do not bring a copy of your child's immunizations, you will be asked to send us a copy and then we will follow-up with you for the review. 

I need a copy of my child's screening summary form for Kindergarten registration. How do I get one?

Please email with your child's full first and last name and date of birth, and we will email you the records needed. If you do not have an email address, please call our office at 763-792-6120. 

What if my child has already been screened through another district or through Head Start?

Your child only needs to be screened ONCE. If your child has been screened elsewhere, he or she does not need to be screened with Centennial. However, we will need a copy of your child's screening summary form for their file. 

What if the Centennial Early Childhood Screening dates do not work with my schedule?

Early Childhood Screening can be completed by another Minnesota school district, the Head Start program, the Department of Public Health, or some health care providers. If your child is screened elsewhere, please be sure to forward a copy of the screening summary to Centennial Early Childhood. 

Is screening an enrollment test for preschool?

Screening is NOT an enrollment test for preschool. Many preschool programs, including those at Centennial, require screening to be completed before or within 90 days of enrollment, but it is not a "test" that a child must "pass" before he or she can attend preschool. 

My child has no preschool experience. Will she do well at screening?

No preschool, daycare, or other experience is necessary to complete an early childhood screening. The screening instruments identify developmental milestones that a child would be expected to know or be able to do at his or her age regardless of any prior education or educational experience.