Early Learning Assessment for Teachers


Ohio’s Early Learning Assessment (ELA) is a tool for teachers of preschool-age children to learn about the current level of each child’s skills, knowledge and behaviors in the areas of Social Foundations, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Well-Being and Motor Development, as well as the Fine Arts.

Early childhood professionals know and use methods of observation and assessment and communicate results to parents and other professionals so that children’s growth and development are supported. The process of assessing early learners allows teachers to observe children during the natural course of the child’s day. Children will not complete test questions or provide test answers. The ELA is an ongoing process of observations performed by the teacher to gather information on how a child is developing over time.  This process allows the teacher to form an understanding of the child’s learning and development that will assist them in planning future learning opportunities.

Teachers will be able to share a report with families that explains their findings and provide suggestions on activities families can do at home to continue to support children’s growth and development.




All programs who serve preschool-age children have the opportunity to use the Early Learning Assessment to improve and support the growth and development of children.

Only programs serving children funded by Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Preschool Special Education (PSE) are required to use the ELA. For 2020-21, a limited set of 10 items (SKBs) are required. Programs will continue to report scores for funded children on the 10-Required Learning Progressions.  Each of the 2020-21 required items corresponds to one of the 10 Learning Progressions for reporting.


There are four assessment windows for the each school year: 


Aug 15 - Nov 14
Required for reporting


Nov 15 - Feb 14
Ongoing for best practice


Feb 15 - May 14
Required for reporting


May 15 - Aug 14
Ongoing for best practice

Each school year, programs must report the 10-Required Learning Progressions during the fall and spring windows, and are encouraged to use the assessment during the winter and summer windows.

Training & Materials


Educators who will use the Early Learning Assessment must successfully complete training that includes demonstrating reliability on a video simulator and passing a content knowledge test. 

Keep in mind that the ELA is a process of collecting evidence through observation and documentation that allows the teacher to make scoring decisions on children’s learning. This is not a scripted assessment where children answer questions.

A general training on Formative Assessment is available and recommended prior to attending ELA training. The Formative Assessment training provides an introduction to the 10-Required Learning Progressions, the formative assessment process and how teachers can use the results of the assessment to direct planning and instruction.


Registration is now open for the new 100% virtual Early Learning Assessment trainings through the Ohio Professional Registry (OPR) at www.registry.occrra.org

The Initial Training is for new users of the Early Learning Assessment who have not previously completed an ELA training.  (If you previously completed an in-person or hybrid ELA training, you do not need to complete the initial training.)  The ELA 2021 Training Schedule lists dates, times, and ST numbers needed to register.

The Technology Mini Training is for people who have completed the 9-hour Early Learning Assessment (ELA) training in a previous year but who have not completed the Content and Simulation Assessments to receive a certificate.  The ELA 2021 Technology Mini Training Schedule lists dates, times, and ST numbers needed to register.


Formative assessment modules are offered through the State Support Teams and Resource and Referral Agencies.  There are three modules available:

  • Overview – introduction to formative assessment, including the purposes of formative assessment and how to use it to support and enhance early learning.  The overview module is a pre-requisite to completing one of the other two modules.
  • Formative Assessment with Children 3-Kindergarten – the use of formative assessment including a review of tools and methods to assist the early childhood professional in identifying ways to recognize and collect evidence of developmental progress.
  • Formative Assessment with Children Birth-36 Months - the use of formative assessment including a review of tools and methods to assist the early childhood professional in identifying ways to recognize and collect evidence of developmental progress.

The formative assessment modules are not a requirement for administrators using the Early Learning Assessment, but are strongly recommended, as they provide a foundational understanding of the purpose and use of formative assessment.

Individuals interested in registering for these trainings should do so through the Ohio Professional Registry (OPR) at www.registry.occrra.org.


Early Learning Assessment products include: 

All three are now available electronically free of charge from the KReady Professional Development site. For more information on how to access the materials and printing guidance, please click here.

All copies of the assessment are considered secure documents and should be kept in a secure, but central location.

Early Learning Material Updates - 09/29/17
The Comprehensive Assessment Binder is the full version of the ELA tool, including seven domains of growth and development, 32 learning progressions, 72 skills, knowledge and behaviors (SKBs); this version also includes the embedded adaptations. 
This original version of the tool has been revised as follows:

  • In the original version, the level description for the SKB “response to distressed peer” had an error. Level B is greyed out, which is incorrect; the correct level that should be greyed out is Level C. That revision is in the updated version.
  • The adaptations were provided in a separate document. In this updated version, the adaptations are embedded.
  • Pages 5 and 6 of the front matter include updated content with a new Sample SKB and Adaptation Example

The Ten Required Learning Progressions is the version of the ELA tool that includes four domains of growth and development, 10 learning progressions, 24 SKBs. There are no updates to this version.   

The Early Learning Assessment - Adaptations follow the same Learning Progressions and level descriptors as the full ELA. The Adaptations provide examples of possible observational variations of each SKB for children with identified disabilities and for children who are developing differently from expected norms and not yet identified as having a disability. These examples include the use of alternate communication techniques and assistive devices, providing those implementing the ELA with a broader scope for the SKBs exhibited across all domains of the ELA. Early learning professionals are encouraged to refer to these adaptations when interpreting observational evidence, recognizing that children with disabilities might display the developmental SKBs in a different manner

Access Ready for Kindergarten Online

Teachers and administrators access the system at http://ohio.kready.org/login

  • Teachers will be able to access the system once they have an account from their Data Manager.
  • Teachers in participating programs will be able to enter data into the system after training.

Data Managers should sign up for data manager trainings and teachers should sign up for teacher trainings through the Ohio Professional Registry (OPR) at www.registry.occrra.org.

Last Modified: 1/20/2021 5:16:49 PM