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Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS)

For Parents

  • What is Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status?

    PEDS is a tool to help practitioners check on your child’s development by learning from any concerns that you might have. You will complete a short, 10-item questionnaire that addresses your child’s development and wellbeing.

    PEDS questions cover:

    • speech and language
    • how your child gets along with others
    • learning for school (babies learn from the moment they are born and it is important to support parents to help children reach their full potential)
    • what your child can do for themselves
    • behaviour
    • how your child uses their hands, fingers, arms and legs
    • health, and
    • how you think your child is going overall.

    The practitioner will then discuss any concerns that you have and complete the scoring and interpretation of PEDS. 

    PEDS is different to many tools that practitioners use with parents. It is informed by research that shows that parental concerns are fairly accurate in identifying developmental, language and behavioural problems in children. Completing PEDS supports you to talk about any worries that you may have in regard to different aspects of your child’s health, development or wellbeing. This helps the practitioner to provide you with information or interventions related to your concerns, perform further assessment of your child, and/or make appropriate referrals if needed.

    You may need to complete the PEDS questionnaire on a regular basis as part of your appointments or visits with health, early childhood or education practitioners. PEDS may be part of a screening process that is used with all children (under 8 years) in your community. Ongoing assessment of your child’s health and development helps both you and the practitioner to monitor any changes and, if necessary, act early.

    Why do we need to check children’s development?

    The first few years of life are a time of significant and rapid development. The strong influence of early experiences on the growing baby and child makes these early years of life a period of great opportunity and great vulnerability. If developmental concerns or delay can be identified in these early years, there is evidence that acting early can make a significant difference to improving long-term outcomes for children.

    Where is PEDS used in Australia?

    PEDS is used by health and education practitioners in Australia in:

    • childcare centres
    • preschools and kindergartens
    • child and family health centres
    • community health centres
    • general practice clinics
    • paediatric clinics
    • schools
    • early parenting centres.

    Where can you get more information?

    If you would like to learn more about child development and behaviour please visit these websites:

    Raising Children Network

    Talaris Institute

    Harvard Center on the Developing Child

    Zero to Three