Research and analysis

Population surveillance using child development outcome indicators

This report sets out how national child development outcome indicators can be developed to enable population surveillance of child development.


Feasibility study: developing the capability for population surveillance using indicators of child development outcomes aged 2 to 2 and a half years

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All children between the ages of 2 to 2 and a half years are offered a development review by health visitors. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) is used as part of the review to give an objective measure of development, allowing comparisons which help to identify children who are not progressing as expected and supporting decisions on closer monitoring of progress or the targeting of services. The ASQ-3 looks at:

  • communication
  • physical skills
  • problem-solving
  • how a child is developing emotionally and socially

This data is collated by NHS Digital as part of the Community Services Data Set.

The study worked with data from 3 local services and found that data from the ASQ-3 might be used nationally to create useful indicators for local areas. These indicators would allow local areas to compare how children are developing with populations in other parts of England and to consider the impact of local early years services on child development outcomes.

The data could also inform the targeting of services towards children with the greatest need by showing how children from different social groups have different outcomes. The method proposed is efficient as it is based on existing data collection and reporting. It offers the opportunity to increase understanding and the evidence-base for the relationship between outcomes in early and later life.

Find quarterly and annual local authority metrics on outcomes for children at 2 to 2 and a half years as measured by the Ages and Stages Questionnaire 3 (ASQ-3).

Published 28 February 2018
Last updated 1 May 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added quarterly and annual local authority metrics link.
  2. First published.