Recommended Screening Instruments
Information from the Minnesota Interagency Developmental Screening Task Force
The following developmental and social-emotional screening instruments are recommended for use in Minnesota programs that provide screening for children 0-5 years of age. This list is approved as of May 2021 and will be updated as additional instruments are reviewed and in response to statutory, rule, or regulatory changes that impact comprehensive screening programs in Minnesota.
All Instruments at a Glance (PDF) lists all recommended developmental and social-emotional screening instruments by type, age, multiple languages (yes/no), and program.
Developmental screening instruments
Parent-report developmental screening instruments
- Ages & Stages Questionnaires, 3rd Ed. (ASQ-3) (PDF)
- Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) (PDF)
Observational developmental screening instruments
- Battelle Developmental Inventory 3rd Ed. Screening Test (PDF)
- Brigance Early Childhood Screens III (2013) (PDF)
- Developmental Indicators for Assessment of Learning - 4th Ed. (DIAL-4) (PDF)
- Minneapolis Preschool Screening Instrument - Revised (MPSI-R) (PDF)
Social-emotional screening instruments
A separate social-emotional screening instrument is recommended as a best practice strategy to accurately identify potential problems in children, regardless of program rule or requirements. The developmental screening instruments listed above do not meet the social-emotional screening component required in some programs.
- Ages & Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional, Second Ed. (ASQ:SE-2) (PDF)
- Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC) (PDF)
Instruments currently NOT recommended
The following instruments do not meet instrument review criteria. These instruments are not currently recommended for use in Minnesota's screening programs and are not approved for use in Minnesota's Early Childhood Screening program.
Battelle Developmental Inventory-2 Normative Update Screening Test (BDI-2 NU Screening Test) 2015 re-weighted norms for 2005 BDI-2 Screen Test not recommended due to lack of an updated norming sample.
The Bayley 4 Screener (2019) was normed against the Bayley 4 Assessment test only and is in fact a subset of the same items found within the assessment. Some of the publishers' comparison groups were based on small sample sizes, had an underrepresentation of girls, or were not representative across the age span of the tool. This means the publisher's sensitivity and specificity findings may not be generalizable to a broader population.
The SWYC does not meet instrument review criteria. For clinics and medical providers performing Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) screening exams, please refer to C&TC Developmental Screening Requirements.
The SWYC is an instrument developed for the surveillance of developmental milestones, social-emotional development, autism, and family risk factors. The instrument is currently undergoing a multi-year study to assess its accuracy as a screening instrument for young children in various of settings. If data results meet the review criteria, this recommendation may change.
The ESI-3 (2019) has been reviewed and is not recommended for use in Minnesota's public screening programs. The ESI-3 uses the same items and content as the ESI-R 2008 edition, which was normed against an assessment tool that is now outdated (McCarthy Scales, 1972). The publishers offer re-standardization data for the ESI-3 using a norming sample matched to current US census data. However, the validity data is based on a small sample size, with significant underrepresentation of girls. This means the publisher's sensitivity and specificity findings may not be generalizable to a broader population.
The IDI and CDR-PQ were developed in 1994 and 1990, respectively. These instruments are no longer recommended because they were normed more than 20 years ago and no longer meet instrument review criteria. Recommended parent-report developmental screening instruments are listed above.
The ESP is an observational developmental screening instrument that was developed in 1990. This instrument is no longer recommended because it does not meet Task Force instrument review criteria. Recommended observational developmental screening instruments are listed above.
The FirstSTEP is an observational developmental screening instrument that was developed in 1993. This instrument is no longer recommended because it does not meet Task Force instrument review criteria. Recommended observational developmental screening instruments are listed above.
The Denver II (1989) is no longer a recommended developmental screening instrument for use in Minnesota screening programs or for the Early Childhood Screening Program in Minnesota. The Denver II failed to meet review criteria.
For more guidance on the selection criteria refer to Choosing an Instrument.