Added Value of Early Literacy Screening in Preschool Children

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Abstract

The Early Literacy Screener (ELS) is a brief screen for emergent literacy delays in 4- and 5-year-olds. Standard developmental screens may also flag these children. What is the value of adding the ELS? Parents of children aged 4 (n = 45) and 5 (n = 26) years completed the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 (ASQ-3), the Survey of Well-Being in Young Children (SWYC), and the ELS. Rates of positive agreement (PA), negative agreement (NA), and overall agreement (Cohen’s κ) across the various screening tools were calculated. Early literacy delays were detected in 51% of those who passed the ASQ and 38% of those who passed the SWYC. For ELS versus ASQ, κ = 0.18, PA = 0.36 (95% CI = 0.23-0.51), and NA = 0.83 (95% CI = 0.66-0.92). For ELS versus SWYC, κ = 0.42, PA = 0.61 (95% CI = 0.45-0.75), and NA = 0.82 (95% CI = 0.65-0.92). The ELS adds value by flagging early literacy delays in many children who pass either the ASQ-3 or SWYC.

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