Early Childhood Early Childhood Assessment Team

Early Childhood Assessment Team

Strafford Learning Center provides evaluation services to children age three to six years through the Early Childhood Assessment Team (ECAT). This team is comprised of an early childhood educator, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a speech and language pathologist, and a nurse. ECAT works closely with Early Supports and Services to assist children birth to three.


Evaluations are most often conducted in the child's natural setting, either the home or childcare environment. Multiple sessions are sometimes employed to ascertain the reliability of the assessment data. Evaluations may include formal standardized assessments, informal qualitative assessments, classroom observations, and parent and teacher interviews.

The evaluation of preschool children is vitally important in order to give each child the best possible developmental opportunities from the earliest possible age. Early identification of a child's special needs and/or strengths gives families and educators the means to plan appropriate individual educational programs that can maximize learning and lifetime achievements.

Based on the results of the evaluations, the team makes recommendations related to identification, Individualized Education Program (IEP) development, strategies and modifications, curriculum and program development, and placement. ECAT can also provide ongoing observation, record review, consultation, monitoring, and follow-up services, as requested.