New Jersey Department of Education

DOE A to Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Division of Early Childhood Education

Curriculum & Assessment


Assessment of young children is an ongoing process that documents evidence of early learning in order to make informed instructional decisions. This evidence may include anecdotal records of children’s conversations and behaviors in individual, small- and large-group situations, samples of artwork and drawings, and photographs, recordings or other records of children engaged in activities and play.
The primary purpose of the assessment of young children is to help educators determine appropriate classroom activities for individuals and groups of children.
The documentation/assessment process should do the following:

  • Build on multiple forms of evidence of the child’s learning;
  • Take place over a period of time;
  • Reflect the understanding of groups, as well as of individual children; and
  • Reflect sensitivity to each child’s special needs, home language, learning style and developmental stage.

The information from the documentation/assessment process should do the following:

  • Connect to developmentally appropriate learning goals;
  • Add to an understanding of the child’s growth and development;
  • Provide information that can be applied directly to instructional planning; and
  • Be communicated with the child’s family and special education personnel when appropriate.