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Early Childhood Screening: What's It All About? (page 2)

Early Childhood Screening: What

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Updated on Dec 17, 2008

The program has also garnered a lot of parental support. During the screening itself, parents can discuss any concerns they may have about their child's health or development with school nurses and other early childhood professionals, and find out about other helpful resources in the school and community.

The thought of screening 60,000 children each year, for an hour or more each, by early childhood professionals, stirs visions of high dollar figures that can only be paid for by hefty taxes. But, as Peterson points, out, the price tag may not be as high as it first seems. State-wide in Minnesota, Early Childhood Screening costs approximately $70 per child. Peterson says, "It is very cost-effective for the state to identify problems early on. Looking at other cost-benefit studies, early intervention pays off. And that's what this is about. The earlier they get intervention services, the better." Basically, treating a problem in a three-year-old is significantly cheaper than dealing with it when the child is 12.

As the Minnesota Department of Education points out, for many children Early Childhood Screening can mean the difference between success and failure in school. While no other state besides Minnesota has yet adopted a state-wide Early Childhood Screening program, the idea is beginning to catch on in other areas, and several other states have similar programs that span a limited area. Watch out - Early Childhood Screening may be coming to your area soon!

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