Child Report Guidance for Teachers

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The Child Report provides information about a child’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors across a range of developmental domains1 that are aligned with California’s early learning and development foundations.2 Educators may use the results to guide individual instruction and modify curriculum; they may also share them with families and other providers in order to better understand and plan support for each child’s learning and development. Along with a system for organizing ongoing observation notes and completing the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) (2015), the Child Report provides teachers, service providers, and families with information about a child’s development, indicating areas of strength and areas for further support.

What information is displayed on the Child Report?

  • The Child Report displays the child’s domain ratings for the DRDP (2015) for the assessment period, indicated at the top of the page.
  • A color-coded legend of the developmental levels of the DRDP (2015) is displayed at the top of the page. Not all developmental levels are available in each domain.
  • The infant and toddler report displays each of the five domains assessed in the DRDP (2015) Infant/Toddler View.
  • The preschool report displays each of the six domains assessed in the DRDP (2015) Preschool Fundamental View. It breaks out the Language and Literacy Development domain into Language and Literacy subdomains and displays ratings for each separately. The Cognition domain only displays the Math subdomain. The Physical Development – Health domain breaks down into the Physical Development and Health subdomains.

What are the features of the Child Report?

A domain scale portrays the developmental progression of knowledge, skills, and behaviors encompassed by the collection of measures included in each DRDP (2015) domain.3 When looking at the measures on the DRDP (2015) instrument, each level appears to be an equal developmental distance from the other. However, as children grow and develop, some knowledge and skills take more time to master than others. These differences in development are expected and are represented by differing widths of the developmental levels in the domain scale; these widths are the same for all children. The location of the marker on each domain scale is unique to each child.

The child’s ratings for each measure in the domain are statistically transformed to create the overall domain rating. For example, all measures in the Language and Literacy Development domain are used to calculate the domain rating. The vertical line on each domain scale indicates the child’s rating along the domain scale.

The standard error line is the horizontal line through the domain rating. The standard error line represents the range on which one can be confident that a child’s level of development lies.4

The DRDP (2015) domain icon represents the developmental domain from the DRDP (2015) and generally represents the associated domain in the California Department of Education’s early learning and development foundations.

The DRDP domain/subdomain name represents the abbreviation and full name of the DRDP (2015) domains and subdomains.


1. Wherever the term domain is presented, it also refers to the subdomain.

2. For more information about California Early Learning and Development Foundations, visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/cddpublications.asp

3. The domain scale is statistically derived from the distribution of response patterns for the measures in that domain.

4. For more information about standard error, see the Child Report Technical Guidance document.


Elements of a Child Report

Domain Name – The abbreviation and full name of the developmental domain.

Standard Error Line – The thin (horizontal) line represents the range on which one is confident that a child’s level of development lies.

Domain Scale – Represents all of the developmental levels for each measure. The names of the levels appear in the color boxes. The levels run from early infancy on the left to kindergarten entry on the right.

DRDP (2015) Domain Icon – Generally represents the domains of the California Department of Education’s early learning and development foundations. The foundations describe what every child from birth to five years of age should learn in publicly-funded programs.

Child’s Domain Rating – The thick line (vertical) indicates the child’s rating along the domain scale.

Understanding the domain scale

Developmental progression for a sample measure
All of the levels for each measure follow a progression from early infancy to kindergarten entry (left to right), like on the DRDP (2015) instrument. The DRDP (2015) instrument represents the developmental levels as equal intervals.

Measures form a domain
A group of measures forms each domain. Each domain scale reflects the psychometric transformation of the developmental levels of the measures within that domain into a scale that is based on the data collected during the calibration studies of the DRDP (2015).

Developmental levels are represented by different widths
Developmental levels on a domain scale that are represented with greater widths will typically take longer for children to master than developmental levels that are represented with lesser widths. The domain scale represents an overall developmental progression; however, it may take more or less time for an individual child to master a level.

If a child stays in a particular level for what appears to be an extended period of time, it is important to consider that the child may still have made gains within that domain. A teacher’s observation notes, participation in classroom learning activities, and ongoing curriculum data (and other documents) can provide additional information about a child’s learning and development.

Placement of the developmental levels is unique to each domain
The variation between developmental levels within and across each domain scale means that a child who demonstrates mastery at the Exploring Later level in one domain, for example, will not necessarily demonstrate mastery at Exploring Later in every other domain. Even when a child’s ratings are both at the Exploring Later level across two domains, the vertical domain rating line may not be in the same place on each of the domain scales.

How can the information in the Child Report be used?

The Child Report assists in understanding children’s development and curriculum planning by:

  • Highlighting broad areas of strength and areas that may require further support for an individual child.
    • Domain markers that are further to the left indicate earlier levels of development; domain markers further to the right indicate later levels of development.
  • Providing an at-a-glance view of a child’s learning and development related to a child’s overall progress toward California’s early learning and development foundations.
    • When looking at the location of the domain rating, consider whether it is near the early end of the level or the later end of the level and then consider whether to focus instructional planning within the current level or at the next level.
    • The standard error line indicates whether a given child’s current level of development squarely falls within one level on the domain scale or whether the child is likely to be transitioning to the next developmental level and assists with focusing instructional planning.
  • Displaying the different developmental distances of the levels and giving teachers more information about how much difficulty is associated with each level.
    • Developmental levels on a domain scale that are represented with greater widths will typically take longer for children to master than developmental levels that are represented with lesser widths.

How should the information in the Child Report not be used?

  • It should not be used to determine eligibility for preschool, transitional kindergarten, or kindergarten.
  • The information is not intended to be the only source of information that teachers or service providers use in understanding children’s development.
  • It should not be used to determine the developmental age for a child.

For more information about the DRDP (2015) refer to www.desiredresults.us and www.draccessreports.org.