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Management Bulletin 10-04

Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: Assessment of Children in Early Learning and Care Division Programs

Number: 10-04

Date: July 2010

Expires: When Superseded

Authority: California Education Code Sections 8203, 8203.5, 8261, and 8282; California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Sections 18270 and 18272

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Directors of all Child Care and Development Center Programs, California State Preschool Programs, Family Child Care Home Education Networks, and Migrant Center Programs


The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to inform the California Department of Education (CDE), Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) programs, with the exception of the Handicapped programs, that all children are to be assessed using a Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP)© (2010) assessment instrument, effective July 1, 2010. Please note that Management Bulletin 09–24 expired June 30, 2010, informing programs which assessment instrument was required for preschool children receiving special education services in the 2009–10 program year.


In 2001, Management Bulletin 01–06 introduced the Desired Results System for Children and Families and in 2002, programs funded by the CDE/ELCD began using the DRDP© to observe and assess the developmental progress of children in their programs. In 2006, the DRDP© was revised and became known as the DRDP-Revised (R)©. In the 2007–08 program year, ELCD-funded programs were required to use the new DRDP-R©.

In 2009, the DRDP© assessment instruments were revised again to be aligned to the Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations and the Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 1. This latest version of the assessment instrument is called the “Desired Results Developmental Profile© (2010).” Use of the DRDP-R© will discontinue at the end of the 2009–10 program year, except for those continuing preschoolers with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) whose IEP team had selected use of the DRDP-R© for special education reporting purposes. The new DRDP© (2010) assessment instruments are to be used beginning July 1, 2010, i.e., the beginning of the 2010–11 program year.

Regulatory Requirement

California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 18272 requires child development centers, preschools, and family child care home education network contractors to complete the age-appropriate DRDP© for each child enrolled in the program for at least ten hours per week. The DRDP© must be completed for each child within 60 calendar days of the child’s enrollment in the program at least once every six months thereafter.

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Requirements for Programs

Effective July 1, 2010, all children, those with IEPs and those without IEPs, are to be assessed by their child development teachers in ELCD-funded programs by using a DRDP© (2010) assessment instrument, as follows:

  • For infants and toddlers: DRDP-Infant/Toddler (IT)© (2010)
  • For preschool-aged children: DRDP-Preschool (PS)© (2010)
  • For school-aged children: DRDP-Schoolage (SA)© (2010)

These DRDP© (2010) assessment instruments are available through the WestEd Desired Results for Children and Families Web site at

Local special education staff are responsible for initiating and completing an assessment of each child with an IEP. Until further notice, special education staff have been directed by the CDE Special Education Division to use the DRDP access instrument for preschool children with IEPs. The one exception is preschool children with IEPs who had been assessed using the DRDP-R© prior to September 1, 2009.

The ELCD recognizes that this will mean a child with an IEP will have two different assessment instruments used during the program year. However, a common comprehensive assessment of all of the children in a classroom using the DRDP-PS© (2010) provides the child development teacher with data to inform curriculum planning for the class and to meet individual needs. An overview of the entire class provides administrators with data to direct necessary resources and support to the classroom.

Collaboration Between ELCD-Funded Program Staff and Special Education Staff

Regarding children with IEPs, child development teachers may find it appropriate to mark “not yet” on the DRDP-PS© (2010) for a measure or several measures child development teachers are to collaborate with the special education staff regarding their observations and documentation for the DRDP-PS© (2010) to inform the assessment ratings of the DRDP access or DRDP-R©. Family members and others who know the child well may also inform the assessment ratings. Likewise, special educators are to collaborate with child development teachers to assist with appropriate individual and classroom planning to meet the needs of the child with an IEP in the child development setting. Sharing a copy of each completed assessment and associated reports will assist in this process. Reports and documentation may include:

  • Rating record
  • Developmental status and progress reports
  • Documentation of observations
  • Portfolios of work samples
  • Samples of children’s art
  • Any other supporting materials

In order to facilitate this collaboration between special educators and child development teachers the ELCD and Special Education Division (SED) are developing a crosswalk between the DRDP© 2010 and the DRDP access instruments. This crosswalk will give special educators and child development teachers the ability to share their observations so each provider can use this information to inform the assessments. There will be further guidance regarding this crosswalk document.

Collaboration Between ELCD-Funded Program Staff and Other Service Providers

Child development teachers are to collaborate with regional center service providers who are assisting infants and toddlers who have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) in completing the DRDP-IT©(2010). Similarly, child development after-school staff may establish collaborative relationships with their school-age children’s elementary programs to share their DRDP-SA© (2010) results.

The ELCD and the SED are continuously engaged in joint discussions to improve the Desired Results System. If you have any questions, please contact your ELCD Field Services Consultant at or by phone at 916-322-6233, or Shiyloh Duncan-Becerril, Administrator, Special Education Division, by phone at 916-327-3547 or by e-mail at

This Management Bulletin is mandatory only to the extent that it cites a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement. Any portion of this Management Bulletin that is not supported by a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement is not prescriptive pursuant to California Education Code, Section 33308.5.

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Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 23, 2024
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