Background of Desired Results for Children and Families
The California Department of Education (CDE) Early Education and Support Division (EESD) Desired Results (DR) system is designed to improve the quality of programs and services provided to all children, birth through 12 years of age, who are enrolled in early care and education programs and before- and after-school programs, and their families. Desired Results are defined as conditions of well-being for children and families. Each Desired Result defines an overall outcome. The DR system was developed based on six Desired Results—four for children and two for their families.
The Desired Results for Children and Families
DR1: Children are personally and socially competent
DR2: Children are effective learners
DR3: Children show physical and motor competence
DR4: Children are safe and healthy
DR5: Families support their child’s learning and development
DR6: Families achieve their goals
The DR system implemented by the CDE is a comprehensive approach that facilitates the achievement of the DR identified for children and families. California is one of the very few states in the nation that has developed its own system designed specifically for measuring child progress toward desired outcomes. The system is aligned to both the state's learning and development foundations for early care and education programs and the content standards for kindergarten.
Components of Desired Results System
The Desired Results system consists of the following components:
- Desired Results Developmental Profile© (2015) (DRDP ): A Developmental Continuum from Early Infancy up to Kindergarten Entry
- Desired Results Parent Survey
- Environment Rating Scales (ERS)
- Program Self Evaluation
1. Desired Results Developmental Profile© (2015): A Developmental Continuum from Early Infancy up to Kindergarten Entry
The Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) assessment instrument is designed for teachers to observe, document, and reflect on the learning, development, and progress of children, birth through 12 years of age, who are enrolled in early care and education programs and before-and after-school programs. The assessment results are intended to be used by the teacher to plan curriculum for individual children and groups of children and to guide continuous program improvement.
The DRDP (2015) is based on the previous DRDP instruments. It includes refinements made over the past several years and new elements that are essential to quality early childhood education. The DRDP (2015) is made up of eight domains (approaches to learning–self regulation, social and emotional development, language and literacy development, English language development, cognition: math, cognition: science, physical development–health, history and social science, and visual and performing arts). The focus of each domain is on the acquisition of knowledge, skills, or behaviors that reflect each domain’s developmental constructs. It aligns with the CDE’s Early Learning and Development Foundations.
2. Desired Results Parent Survey
The Parent Survey is designed to assist programs in gathering information from families about (1) the family members' satisfaction with their child’s program and how it supports the child’s learning and development; and (2) family members' perceptions of their progress toward reaching the two Desired Results identified for families. Families in the program are asked to complete the Parent Survey once a year and return it to their classroom. Families complete this survey anonymously to ensure that their opinions and concerns are kept confidential.
3. Environment Rating Scales
The Environmental Rating Scales (ERS) are used to measure the quality of the program environment (e.g., child-teacher interactions, children’s interactions and activities, use of language, health and safety practices, space, and materials). The ERS are required instruments for yearly program self-evaluation and used for the reviews conducted CDE/EESD program staff.
4. Program Self-Evaluation
The Program Self-Evaluation addresses: family and community involvement; governance and administration; funding; standards, assessment, and accountability; staffing and professional growth; opportunity and equal educational access; and approaches to teaching and learning. Program quality is assessed annually through the required self-evaluation and the reviews conducted by CDE/EESD program staff.
How the DR System Works
The components of the DR system work together to inform and facilitate activities aimed at promoting high-quality programs for children in California. The DRDP (2015) assessment results provide the teacher with information about the level of development of each child and guides curriculum planning to support individual children’s learning. The Parent Survey provides families’ feedback on whether the programs meet their needs and the needs of their children. The ERS provide a system for assessing the learning environment and making improvements to the learning environment across a comprehensive set of items. The program self-evaluation reveals areas for program improvement that can be addressed by program staff and administrators.
The EESD monitors the local agency’s use of the DR components to ensure continuous improvement of state-funded early care and education programs. Support and technical assistance from the CDE increase program quality and the ability to identify broad trends for statewide policy considerations.
At the program level, practitioners use the DR system to determine the extent to which children and families are demonstrating progress toward achieving the Desired Results. In addition, DRDP (2015) assessment results for individual children and classrooms are used by the teachers, family members, and program administrators to improve the experience of each child in their care and the quality of the program. This system enables programs to implement quality improvement activities for the benefit of participants.