Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kidsights Data? 

Kidsights Data is an initiative to generate population-level data on the development of children from birth to five using the Kidsights Measurement Tool. Policymakers and advocacy organizations can use the results from Kidsights Data to inform impact evaluations and measure how programs and policies within cities, communities and states are supporting young children. 

What does Kidsights Data mean by population-level data? 

For Kidsights Data, population-level data measures collective health and development trends of infants and children ages birth to five in a defined population and geographical area, ideally with a sample that generalizes to the underlying population of all children. The data does not provide individual assessments, but rather is used to inform programming and policy at a population level. 

What is the Kidsights Measurement Tool? 

The Kidsights Measurement Tool is a parent-report measure, usually completed in an online survey, to measure typical early development of children birth to age five at the population level within the United States. The tool includes questions about child development based on the child's age and generates an overall score of child development. The Kidsights scores are not intended to assess the development of individual children like a screener or diagnostic. Instead, Kidsights scores can be used to report on overall development for groups of children when measured in the context of factors associated with development, such as family income, education, geography, and other family characteristics. The data from the Kidsights Measurement Tool is a new and valuable resource for understanding how infants and children are developing in a defined geographic area.  Kidsights Data can be used to compare outcomes for subgroups within a population of development trends over time for children birth to five years.   

How was the Kidsights Measurement Tool developed? 

The Kidsights Measurement Tool was developed by connecting items from existing instruments used to measure child development at the population level. Two global tools of early child development, the Global Scale for Early Development for children birth to three (World Health Organization) and the Early Child Development Index for children two years to five years (UNICEF), and one instrument used in the United States, the Healthy and Ready to Learn (HRTL) measure from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NOM), were integrated into one tool that extends from birth to age five years to make Kidsights. 

What does the Kidsights Measurement Tool measure? 

Kidsights Measurement Tool measures typical child development for children birth to age five years. It includes items that index motor, language, cognitive and social/emotional development; child development milestones, like walking, talking, and interacting with others. It does not have subscale or domain scores. It generates one score across all domains. 

Along with the Kidsights Measurement Tool, it is highly recommended that users include contextual variables to explore the relationships between family, child and environmental factors and the Kidsights scores. To date, information about family socio-economic status, receipt of services, parent mental health, parent and child exposure to adverse childhood experiences, childcare experiences, parenting stress, and learning activities in the home have been included in surveys along with the Kidsights Measurement Tool.  When measured together, these data describe influences on early child development.

What is the relationship between Kidsights Data, GSED and the NOM? 

The Kidsights Measurement Tool includes items from both the Global Scales for Early (GSED) and the Healthy and Ready to Learn (HRTL) measure.  

However, there are two differences between Kidsights and GSED: first, Kidsights also has items for children in the preschool years; and second, Kidsights is based on a different underlying scale than the GSED.  For that reason, the scores for the GSED and Kidsights are highly correlated, but not exactly the same. Additionally, the Kidsights Measurement Tool was developed for children in the United States; whereas the GSED was developed and intended to be used globally.   

There are also differences between the Kidsights Measurement Tool and the HRTL. In the United States, the HRTL gathers population-level information on child development for children three years old and above. However, the Kidsights Measurement Tool is the only population-level tool that links together items for children three to five years from the HRTL with child development items beginning at birth. Kidsights scores and HRTL scores are also different. Responses from the HRTL are categorized and aggregated by domains to identify if children have the skills and competencies needed to be ready for school, with different scores for children based on their ages. Kidsights scores are on a continuous numerical scale representing child development overall. This scale allows comparisons across children of different ages – so that it is possible to determine how scores change over time.

What is the goal of Kidsights Data? 

The goal of the Kidsights Data work is to validate and build demand for adoption and use of a population-based early childhood measurement tool that tracks development in children from birth to five in the United States, establishing new insights that encourages data-driven decision making. 

What is the value of Kidsights Data? 

Kidsights Data offers insight into an area not previously explored — tracking population-level development data from birth to age five in communities, cities, and states in the United States. When this data is collected and analyzed, it has meaningful applications for early childhood and governmental leaders providing new data on young children that can help inform policy and programmatic decisions at the state- and community-level. Insight into how infants, toddlers, and children are developing will advance understanding of how communities, cities, and states track the developmental trends, and how strategic investments can address areas where data shows further supports are needed. Kidsights Data brings insights into blind spots facing families, early childhood professionals and community and government leaders.  

Why is it important to build demand for Kidsights Data? 

Kidsights Data contributes new data insights to help early childhood and governmental leaders better understand population-level developmental trends. Access to data in the early years can help inform decisions and policies that affect communities and families. With better understanding of population level data from birth to age five, our goal is to help foster better decisions for young children based on data. To accomplish this goal, the Kidsights Data initiative must be understood and adopted into use. We are focused on building demand for data in three areas:

1. DEMAND FOR DATA: (New data focus)

Increased demand for regular data collection of infant and child development outcomes from birth to age five at a population level (community/state), from early childhood leaders, school administrators, community leaders, state education advocates, decision makers, and policy makers.


Increased adoption of the Kidsights Measurement Tool to gather population-level early childhood data that tracks development in children from birth to five in communities, cities, and states in the United States.

3. DEMAND FOR DATA-INFORMED DECISIONS: (New Worksheet to share New Data)

Increased dissemination of Kidsights Results to key stakeholders with influence and the corresponding increased utilization of birth to age five population-level data to make more informed decisions (policy, strategic appropriations etc.)

Can the Kidsights Measurement Tool be used to screen or diagnose a child for developmental delays?

No. The Kidsights Measurement Tool is not intended to screen or diagnose a child for developmental delays. It is a population measure that provides a high-level summary of how children are doing overall.  

What is the process to get access to the Kidsights Measurement Tool? 

The Kidsights Measurement Tool is not publicly available at this time. If you are interested in using the Kidsights Measurement Tool, please contact us by email at 

Is the Kidsights Data tool available in different languages?  

Currently, the Kidsights Measurement Tool is only available in English. However, we are testing it in other languages and hoping to add more languages soon. 

Click here to download a PDF of our FAQs

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