The state of Pennsylvania is adopting the Work Sampling System and the Ounce Scale—two early childhood assessments developed by Dr. Samuel J. Meisels and colleagues—to evaluate the developmental progress of children from birth to age five. When fully implemented, the scales will be used in a wide range of settings to assess the developmental status of 250,000 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers annually.

Pennsylvania already mandates the use of the Work Sampling System for five-year-olds in state and federally funded early childhood programs. Use of the Ounce Scale will extend assessments to children from birth to age three. At the program level, these observation-based assessments can help teachers and program directors create individualized activities to support children’s learning. Used statewide, the assessments provide valuable aggregate data on all young children across programs and demographic groups, documenting what they know and can do.

The Work Sampling System is now mandated for use in five states besides Pennsylvania and recommended or commonly used in about ten more. The Ounce Scale has been adopted for use in four states and in numerous programs around the country. Both are published by Pearson Assessments.