Welcome to the IMPACT Measures Tool®
We created the Tool to address the need for a free and accessible resource for anyone who supports young children and families, to find measures that best fit the unique needs and values of their community. We provide information on hundreds of early childhood and parenting measures, and we use a research-driven system to score each measure to help you find the right tool for your needs.
How to use the IMPACT Measures Tool®
Learn how to set preferences, search, compare, and access measures.
How we score measures
Our team created a research-driven scoring system to analyze the strengths of each measure, using the categories of usability, cost, cultural relevance, and technical merit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Search for measures by title, subject, or keyword on the IMPACT Measures Tool page (hyperlink to IMPACT Measures Tool page). Then, compare, and access your favorite measures.
The search feature can help you find the measures available in our online database. You can enter any measure name, keyword, or search query on the search bar, and the results will be sorted according to your preferences.
Finding the right measure for your needs is complex. The compare feature allows you to get a quick snapshot of the similarities and differences between two or three measures.
You can easily compare measures from the search results by selecting the “Compare” button for each individual measure. You will be directed to a new page that shows you the most relevant details of each measure, side by side for easy comparison.
The scoring diamond is a visual representation of how well a measure scores in each of the four key categories: cost, usability, cultural relevance, and technical merit. Learn more about the scoring diamond.
You can find information on how to access a measure on the individual measure’s detail page. By clicking the Access Measure button, you will be taken to the measure’s website to access or purchase the measure.
The IMPACT Measures Tool is designed to be accessible to individuals and organizations working in the early childhood ecosystem. This includes community-based organizations, academic institutions, healthcare systems, philanthropic and policy-based organizations, early learning and child care.
Yes! It is important to us that we provide this tool as an open-access resource for everyone. Anyone interested in learning more about measurement and evaluation of early childhood development and parenting is encouraged to use the IMPACT Measures Tool.
Our goal is to educate and empower our users on measurement and evaluation in early childhood. In addition to our Tool, we provide educational information in our Resources section about measurement, evaluation, and more.
Sign up for our newsletter (hyperlink to newsletter sign-up) to stay up-to-date on the latest news, measures, and resources related to IMPACT and measurement. You can also get in touch with our team by contacting Aimée Drouin Duncan to discuss how we can further support your organization.
The IMPACT Measures Tool is not a publisher or distributor of the measures listed on this site. IMPACT provides a review of the basic information about available measures and provides a link to the measure’s website for access and further information, via the Access Measure button.
Measurement is the process of translating a characteristic into a number. This includes everything from translating the size of a paper into its length in inches, to translating a child’s early math skills into a score on a kindergarten readiness assessment. In psychology or education, a measure is a tool used to gather specific information about an individual or group. Early childhood measures, also known as assessments, gather information about children and families to understand more about how children develop early in life. For example, a caregiver may complete a survey on their child’s social-emotional development. The survey — the measure — would translate these skills into a score. Read more about psychological measurement.
Each measure available on the website is categorized into four different measure types: direct assessment, survey, observation, and interview. If the measure was designed for use as a screening tool, this is also noted.
- Direct Assessments are measures that directly assess an individual’s skill in a specific area (e.g., receptive vocabulary or executive function). Direct assessments may be administered via paper-pencil or electronically, and usually require an administrator.
- Surveys or questionnaires include questions regarding characteristics, behaviors, or opinions of individuals at single or multiple time points. Surveys are one of the most common methods of measurement, but survey users often need to be mindful of overgeneralization and potential biases.
- Observation measures require direct observation (in person or via video) of individuals or a group to administer and score. These measures often require multiple coders to score the observations. Scoring of observation measures are conducted in real-time or after administration, and rely on several factors such as the length and frequency of observations as well as the administrator’s interpretation. In addition, observation measures need to consider participant privacy and confidentiality concerns (e.g., in healthcare).
- Interviews involve an administrator directly asking questions to the child or caregiver, rather than respondents recording their own responses. Interviews can be structured, semi-structured, or unstructured. Interviews can be administered individually or in a group (such as a focus group setting).
- Screening tools are measures intended to detect specific indicators of risk (e.g., food insecurity or autism spectrum disorders) and identify whether further evaluation is needed. Screening tools are a first indication of whether an individual may be at risk for developmental or clinical issues, but do NOT constitute a clinical diagnosis. In addition, the accuracy of the score cutoffs used for screening tools depends on the comparison measure used in development. Screening tools are NOT intended to measure a program’s impact.
There is no one size fits all approach to choosing a measure. When developing a measurement plan, it is crucial to choose measures that are research-based and offer data to support their reliability and validity (concepts covered in our Scoring page). Measures should also match your program’s purposes and identified outcomes (cost, usability, cultural relevance, and technical merit.)
Measures can be administered in various ways, depending on the topic, measure type, the individual taking the measure, and the environment they are taking the measure in. Measures can be administered electronically (on a computer, phone, or tablet), over the phone, and/or in-person. While some measures require extensive training for administration and may even require a licensed administrator, other measures might only need written instructions. The administration of a measure is a crucial factor in the decision-making process for choosing a measure.
Learn about how the IMPACT Measures Tool accounts for how measures are administered in the Scoring page.
The IMPACT Measures Tool database currently houses over 300 measures that are scored and categorized for easy search and comparison. We will be regularly updating our online database to provide information on additional measures.
The IMPACT Measures Tool includes measures in the areas of: caregiver health and well-being, child mental health, overall child development, social-emotional development, language development, executive function, academic skills, family/home environment, classroom/childcare quality, caregiver-child interaction, cultural competency, and healthcare/human services quality.
There are two ways we share information about measures offered in different languages:
- As a specific measure scored individually.
- As a descriptive category listing the languages that the measure has been translated into, as reported by the measure developer.
Note: There may be measures validated in languages that are not yet included in the database simply because they have not yet been included or scored.
All measures included in the IMPACT Measures Tool database are selected based on the following three main criteria: relevance to particular domains, availability of measure information, and membership to a measure family.
Domains include: caregiver health and well-being, child mental health, overall child development, social-emotional development, language development, executive function, academic skills, motor skills, family/home environment, classroom/childcare quality, caregiver-child interaction, cultural competency, and healthcare/human services quality.
Given our team’s expertise in early childhood as well as the lack of high-quality standardized measures in the field, we specifically focus on measures relevant to families with children ages zero to eight.
Measures from the same measure family (collection of individual measures which share the same core elements) are also included in the database.
In order for measures in additional languages to be scored as individual measures in a measure family, technical merit evidence must be available. Translations are included on the individual measure’s detailed page.
We encourage measure developers to reach out to our team if they have a measure they would like us to consider adding to the IMPACT website. In order to review and score a measure, the IMPACT team needs access to the website, manual, and/or original validation study. Inclusion of a measure depends on whether the measure falls within IMPACT’s scope of early childhood and parenting measures, as well as current project priorities and bandwidth; therefore, we cannot guarantee responses to all inquiries.
If you believe your measure meets the eligibility requirements and is not on our website, please email our team to submit:
- Your website domain and any necessary logins to view the measure and materials.
- Your manual and/or original validation study.
Please note, at this time we score measures based on one of the resources above to ensure all submissions are using similar sources, as we aim to promote an equitable process to measure selection from developers.
We aim to provide as accurate and up-to-date information as possible, and we appreciate your input. All references used in scoring measures are posted to the measures page. If you are a measure developer and note this resource is out-of-date, you may resubmit your manual and/or submit your most recent validation study for rescoring up to one time per calendar year. Please email your updated reference to email@example.com. Please note, this resource will replace the existing resource and previously scored data.
No. The “Access Measure” button on the measure’s webpage will direct users to the publisher’s website where the measure can be downloaded or purchased.
The Institute for Child Success provides free access to the IMPACT Measures Tool as a resource of measure information, to empower individuals and organizations to make the best measurement choices for their unique needs. To achieve this, we serve as a third-party reviewer to provide basic information and scores about measures, and keep our measure information as up-to-date as possible. We welcome measure developer input, questions, and updated information, but we also reserve the right to include measure reviews for non-commercial use on our website, for measures that are publicly available in the early childhood field. If you have specific concerns or extenuating circumstances about your measure being included on the IMPACT Measures Tool, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we cannot guarantee removal of measures or scores from the IMPACT website due to dissatisfaction with scores or for other reasons.
No. The purpose of the IMPACT Measures Tool is to provide an impartial review of existing measures and make basic information about these measures available to the general public, to help those in the early childhood field select and use measures that fit the needs of their communities. IMPACT is not a publisher or distributor of measures.
In addition to contacting our team at email@example.com, we encourage you to use the feedback feature at the bottom of each measure’s webpage. All visitors to the IMPACT Measures Tool website can view these comments, and they can be a useful tool for our community in learning of other resources and experiences. We thank you for engaging with the IMPACT Measures Tool and the IMPACT community!
Administrator: Individual/s responsible for implementing the measure.
Direct Assessment: Assessment of a child’s direct skill or performance in a specific area.
Executive Functioning: A set of everyday mental skills that allow us to set and achieve goals, remember instructions, and pay attention to multiple tasks successfully.
Interview: A method of measurement in which the administrator directly questions respondents, often with a standardized set of questions.
Measure Family: A group of measures with the same core elements but different length, content, age group, or language.
Kindergarten Readiness: While there is no single definition, kindergarten readiness often refers to a set of developmental milestones assessing children’s behavior, skills, and attitudes upon kindergarten entry.
Norms: Norming or norms refers to the process of calculating the means and standard deviations of measure scores for potential comparison with a standard group of respondents.
Observation: Requires an administrator to observe individuals or groups (in person or via video) to administer and/or score the measure.
Psychometrics: The study of measurement in behavioral and social sciences by means of statistical calculations and analysis of measurement for accurate and consistent results.
Respondent: Person who completes the measure. Required for all measures.
Screening Tool: Measures intended to detect specific indicators of risk and identify whether further evaluation is needed. Does NOT constitute a clinical diagnosis.
Survey: Set of questions for individuals or groups about characteristics, behaviors, or opinions.