What is the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP 2015)?
Developed by the California Department of Education Early Learning and Care Division and Special Education Division, the Desired Results Developmental Profile or DRDP (2015) is an informative assessment instrument used in early environments to gage children’s development and potential need for early intervention. The DRDP is based on authentic observation, which is the observation of children engaging in activities in natural settings over a period of time at a child care, preschool or in the home. The observations are strongly focused on identifying strengths over deficits to help determine appropriate learning activities and inform a program’s development and instruction. Observational reports are created and shared with parents as a guide to their child’s progress and areas of need. The instrument is used from early infancy to the start of kindergarten.
The DRDP (2015) is based on previous versions of the instrument, with this one containing new elements crucial to quality early education. The 2015 version contains key features that consider dual language learners, have modifications for children with an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individualized Education Program (IEP), and provides detailed descriptions of each to help providers fully understand how to utilize the tool. Overall, the instrument is made up of eight domains, each with a developmental focus for the purpose of strengthening skills and behaviors. It is completed in three steps, observation and documentation including those made by family members, rating a child’s level of mastery in specific skill or knowledge sets or behaviors, and finally, reviewing and finalizing the observations made. Teachers complete these three steps a minimum of two times a year. In the following, we will cover the key features and domains that set up the purpose of the tool and define the areas of observation in more detail.
8 Key Features of DRDP (2015)
Let’s start with the 8 key features. These cover the expected use, history of, and inclusive practices. The following summary is taken directly from the CDE:
- The DRDP (2015) is administered in natural settings through teacher observations, family observations, and examples of children’s work.
- The DRDP (2015) replaces the DRDP-Infant/Toddler (2010) and the DRDP- Preschool (2010) and the DRDP access assessment instruments.
- The instrument represents a full continuum of development and has two views, the Infant/Toddler View for infant/toddler programs and the Preschool View for preschool programs.
- As stated above, it is to be used from early infancy to the start of kindergarten and includes children with IFSPs and IEPs.
- It is aligned with all volumes of the California’s Infant/Toddler and Preschool Learning and Development Foundations, Common Core Standards, and the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework.
- It takes into consideration the specific cultural and linguistic characteristics our state’s diverse population of young children.
- It was developed with the goal of ensuring all children have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. To enable access to the assessment of diverse populations, the principles of Universal Design, assessments created for all children to the greatest extent possible, were followed.
- And it meets the federal Office of Special Education Programs child outcome reporting requirements.
8 Domains of DRDP (2015)
Next, we’ll look at the 8 domains, or areas of focus, of the DRDP (2015) and what they mean. Each domain considers skills, knowledge, and behaviors that are important for school readiness and success and how to strengthen them. They are:
- Approaches to learning and self-regulation: Includes the observation of how a child exhibits curiosity and initiative as well as self-control and self-comforting skills.
- Social and emotional development: Observes interactions and relationship-building, both peer to peer and student to teacher.
- Language and literacy development: Looks at foundational language and communication skills in a child’s first language.
- English language development: Considers the progress of dual language learners whose primary home language is one other than English.
- Cognition, including math and science: Observes a child’s understanding of spatial relationships, cause and effect, patterning, and shapes.
- Physical development and health: Includes fine and gross motor skills, physical play, safety, nutrition and hygiene.
- History-social science: Observance of a child’s understanding of sense of time, place, conflict negotiation and responsible conduct.
- Visual and performing arts- Looks at artistic expression in four areas: visual, art, music, drama and dance.
The Benefits of DRDP (2015)
Early environments that use the DRDP are committed to monitoring and supporting the growth and development of the children they serve. Across California, the use of the DRDP creates a coordinated system to ensure that all young children are supported in their development and are prepared for school success. It also helps to inform the requirements for early programs. With it, parents are given a record of their child’s progress from infancy through preschool. The reports are a helpful tool for parents and educators to engage in conversations about progress and areas of need for individual students.
How Does Quality Start Utilize the DRDP?
The DRDP is an essential part of the Quality Counts California rating matrix which evaluates early learning programs in three core areas, child development and school readiness, teachers and teaching, and program and environment. The DRDP (2015) falls under the child observation portion of Core 1, child development and school readiness. Participating QSSB sites are assigned a quality rating based on the matrix. QSSB offers DRDP trainings to participants to show them how to use the instrument in infant/toddler and preschool settings. This training is offered throughout the year. Participants can reach out to their QSSB coach should they have more questions about the DRDP and their program.