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Professional Education
The Ounce Scale

What is the new Scale?

The Ounce Scale (2003), was developed by Dr. Samuel Meisels, Amy Dombro, Dorothea Marsden, Dr. Donna Weston and Abigail Jewkes as a functional assessment measure from birth to age 3 years. The challenge for the developers was to design an assessment tool that transforms developmental information into meaningful interventions. This means assessing a child's performance of skills and behaviours within the everyday, naturalistic contexts that make up his or her day. At the core of this tool is the observation of a child's functional accomplishments by both parents and service providers. This data then provide a framework from which to design program planning, relationship building experiences and specific interventions.

The Ounce Scale has three components:

  • The Observation Record provides a focus for observing and documenting children's everyday behaviours and provides data for making evaluations about development.
  • The Family Album provides a structure for parents to learn about and record their child's development as they write down what they see, using photos, telling stories, and responding to observation questions that are the same as the ones in the caregiver's Observation Record.
  • The Developmental Profile enables caregivers and other staff to evaluate each child's development and progress over time, comparing their observation data to specific performance Standards.

How is the Scale organized?

The Ounce Scale is organized around 6 major areas of development;

  1. Personal ConnectionsIt's About Trust: How children show that they trust familiar adults.
  2. Feelings About SelfLearning About Me: How children express who they are, their temperament, the way they are building self-esteem; managing their own behaviour and expression of feelings, needs and wants.
  3. Relationships With Other ChildrenChild to Child: What children do around other children; how they recognize and respond to other children's feelings.
  4. Understanding and CommunicatingBaby and Toddler Talk: How children understand and communicate both receptively and expressively.
  5. Exploration and Problem SolvingSeek and Solve: How children explore and figure things out; understanding concepts of colour, size, matching, weight and number; memory, reasoning and imagination.
  6. Movement and CoordinationBody Basics: How children move their bodies and use their hands to do things.

Who might be interested in using this Scale?

The Ounce Scale provides an interactive system of documentation, monitoring and evaluation of early childhood development. As it provides a meaningful way to evaluate children's accomplishments, areas of difficulties, functional strengths and capacities as well as approaches to learning, any service provider who works directly with children and their families would find this tool helpful:

  • Centre and home-based child care programs
  • Early intervention programs
  • Aboriginal Head Start programs
  • Home visiting programs

How Can I purchase the training and the Scale?

Invest In Kids will have trainers available for all regions across Canada. Watch out for updates on training dates and locations.

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