Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can we help? Below are answers to the most common questions regarding the DRDP, the DRDP Online system, and training resources. If you don't find what you are looking for, please call 1.800.770.6339 or email

Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP)

When is the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) to be completed? 
The first DRDP assessment instruments must be completed within 60 calendar days of the child's first day of enrollment in the program and every six months after that. Completing the DRDP (rating the child’s development on the DRDP measures) is usually completed over two weeks; however, teachers and caregivers are expected to record observations and gather evidence on an ongoing basis.

For part-time preschoolers attending one or two days a week, would the 60 days count from days of enrollment or calendar days?
The DRDP must be completed for all children within 60 calendar days, regardless of the circumstances. Remember, for a DRDP to be completed, children must attend the program ten hours a week or more.

If the child leaves or withdraws before the 60 days, does an assessment still need to be completed?
The assessment is only completed if the child is still enrolled in the program.

Who is required to administer the DRDP?
The child’s primary teacher or caregiver is responsible for completing the DRDP. It should not be completed by assistant teachers or by families, although their comments and other anecdotal observations should be used to inform the child's primary teacher or caregiver ratings. The staff person who completes the developmental profile should be able to understand the child's language or use an interpreter if necessary.

Which Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) version should be used?

  • Infant/Toddler: Use the DRDP–Infant/Toddler Comprehensive or Essential View for children from early infancy to 36 months, unless two years and nine months in a preschool classroom. The Infant/Toddler Comprehensive View is required for all infants and toddlers with an IFSP.
  • Preschool: Use the DRDP Preschool Comprehensive, Fundamental, or Essential View for children three years of age through transitional kindergarten. Any view of the DRDP- Preschool may also be used for children at least two years and nine months into a preschool classroom who will turn three on or before September 1. Use of the Preschool Fundamental View is required for all preschool-age children with an IEP.
  • Kindergarten: Use the DRDP-Kindergarten Comprehensive, Fundamental, or Essential View for children who turn five by September 1st enrolled in a kindergarten program. Children in transitional kindergarten should use the DRDP-Preschool.
  • School Age: For after-school programs that provide services for children from kindergarten entry through 12 years of age, the agency may use the Desired Results Developmental Profile–School Age (DRDP-SA©), Simplified Version, or the Complete Version.

Is it okay to use DRDP-K for preschool children?
The Desired Results Developmental Profile–Kindergarten© (DRDP–K ©) is an assessment instrument designed for teachers to use to reflect on all children's learning, development, and progress during the kindergarten year. It may not be used with preschool children.

Which DRDP assessment is for children enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

The DRDP for Preschool should be used with children in TK. The Preschool view allows for a broader range of development for the age range of children in TK. The DRDP-PS assessment includes all children, including children with disabilities, and should include family input.

Children enrolled in UPK/ UTK are preschool-age children who have yet to turn five by September 1st. Children in this age range were included in the research study for the DRDP-Preschool instrument.  Using the DRDP-K with TK children could have the unintended consequence of a floor effect. As California fully implements TK, the DRDP, and California Preschool Learning Foundations will be reviewed and updated as needed.

The DRDP-K was developed for children enrolled in kindergarten who turn five by December 2nd. When the date to enroll in kindergarten was moved to September 1, and Transitional Kindergarten was created for children whose birthdays fall between September 2nd and December 2nd, the developmental continuum was still appropriate for those children enrolled in TK, as the research studies included children in their age range. However, now that the entrance age for TK has been moved to earlier dates, the DRDP Kindergarten does not provide an appropriate range of development and could cause an unintended floor effect.

For how long should DRDP forms be maintained on file?
There is a five-y record retention requirement for maintaining DRDP records. DRDP Online allows programs to meet this record retention requirement and store the DRDP records in a free, secure online system.

Should the portfolios be kept on file also?
Portfolios should be kept on file (either electronically or in paper versions) during the program year. At the end of the year, or when a child leaves the program, the portfolio should be sent home with the child. You don't need to store them for five years.

How many pieces of documentation are required per measure?
You need evidence to show mastery of the skill. Mastery means consistently, over time, and in different situations. Evidence should be gathered from families and other adults who know the child, in addition to the evidence collected from the teacher.

Do I complete a new assessment if a child terminates the program and reenrolls?
A new assessment can be completed if a child returns after terminating the program within 30 days.

We are using an outside vendor to collect documentation and complete ratings for the DRDP. Do ratings have to be entered in DRDP Online?
Effective Fall 2015, all state-funded agencies must enter all DRDP ratings in DRDP Online. The agency chooses to use a vendor to help with data collection or organization of documentation. The CDSS requires DRDP ratings to be entered in DRDP Online and the psychometric reports used to support learning and development.

If a teacher selects the conditional measure bubble (Measure not rated: The child’s development is beyond the latest developmental level (required for children with IEPs)), is evidence required to show the child’s development is beyond the latest developmental level?
When asked, a teacher is expected to articulate why the conditional measure was not rated. The CDSS does not require documentation for not rating a conditional measure. However, an agency may have a different policy.

When children leave preschool to enter kindergarten, what level of development are they expected to achieve?*
The DRDP is a strength-based assessment that considers the wide range of typical development at any age by offering positive descriptions of children’s knowledge and skills across a broad continuum of development and learning. The DRDP assessment is criterion-referenced rather than norm-referenced. In other words, the levels described for each DRDP measure and domain are based on research on developmental sequences rather than an average score or rating for an age group. Each child’s learning and developmental progress are assessed relative to research-based criteria or levels in a progression (criterion-referenced) rather than compared to the average learning and developmental progress of a large group of children (norm-referenced). The building middle and building later levels of the DRDP generally correspond to the California Preschool Learning Foundations’ descriptions of children’s competencies at around 60 months for typically developing children who are provided appropriate educational support and nurturance.* It is important for programs to continue improving their educational support and nurturance to help children reach the expectations described in the foundations. Without high-quality, appropriate support, a substantial number of typically developing children would likely not reach those expectations.

*The California Preschool Learning Foundations describe competencies—knowledge and skills—that most young children can be expected to exhibit when they are provided appropriate educational support and nurturance.

Should the DRDP be copied each time it is administered?
It is required that teachers use DRDP Online to enter their DRDP ratings. Therefore, the teacher only needs one copy of the DRDP. Some programs enter data into DRDP Online by scanning ratings using an outside service. In those cases, a rating record will be needed for every child each rating period. Teachers should still review and reflect on the evidence and documentation while reading the measure and level descriptors.

The DRDP instruments and the DRDP Rating Records can be found on the Web site at

What is the purpose of the DRDP Rating Record?
To maintain the validity and reliability of the DRDP, each time the teacher completes the DRDP, teachers are asked to come to the rating with “fresh eyes.” The DRDP Rating Record is simply for the convenience of the teacher. Ratings for all rating periods must be entered into DRDP Online.

Is it okay to modify or skip measures from the DRDP?
All components of the DRDP are research-based. They work together to provide the child’s developmental profile along a continuum. The DRDP has gone through formative evaluations to demonstrate that it is a reliable and valid assessment instrument in its current form. Modifying or skipping measures compromises the reliability and validity factors.

Can observations be put directly into DRDP Online so information can be stored in one place?
Observations cannot be stored in DRDP Online.

Can a child demonstrate mastery of a developmental level on the DRDP in their home language?
Children in all age groups can demonstrate mastery of a developmental level in their home language. Therefore, the teacher who completes the DRDP should speak the child’s home language or have assistance from another adult, such as an assistant teacher or caregiver, director, or parent, who does speak the child’s home language. The exception is the English-language development measures.

After marking the highest developmental level (integrating) on the DRDP-Preschool, can "emerging to the next level" be marked?
No. Since no next developmental level is available for reference on the age level instrument, there is no definition of what a child would be emerging towards.

What should occur next if a child reaches the last developmental level on an age-level instrument?
Staff should continue documenting and observing the child and using the information to plan the curriculum.

Will most preschoolers reach the integrating level before enrolling in kindergarten?
The DRDP research shows that most preschoolers will reach the building level by the end of their preschool years. In California, some children begin transitional kindergarten at age 4, kindergarten at age 5, or at age 6. The DRDP is calibrated to accommodate a broader range of abilities. There is some overlap between the DRDP-Infant/Toddler instrument and the DRDP-K instrument to encompass the range of abilities.

Can emerging be marked if the first level has not yet been marked?
No. Emerging is a way of showing that the child is moving from the present developmental level to the next developmental level. Since there is no first developmental level, the child is not emerging from a developmental level to the next developmental level.

Is emerging a developmental level?
No. Emerging is used to show the child is beginning to demonstrate some of the skills, knowledge, or behaviors at the next level. A developmental level must be marked first before marking emerging.

Head Start

Is this instrument aligned with the Head Start (HS) framework?
Yes, it is. Alignment resources are available on the DR website/Research webpage.

How many times a year is the DRDP completed in a Head Start program?
The requirement for Head Start programs is “Aggregating and analyzing aggregate child-level assessment data at least three times per year.”  Head Start Performance Standards 1307.3(b)(1) and 1307.3(b)(2). Also: Head Start Act, section 641A(g)(2).

Family Child Care Home Education Network

If the DRDP-PS is completed three times a year, as some programs require, are the results still valid?
Yes, the results will still be valid since the instrument is calibrated and not dependent on frequency.

In a Family Child Care Home Education Network (FCCHEN), who may complete the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP)?
The DRDP will be completed by those agency staff members designated as teachers.

Are trained family child care providers in a Family Child Care Home Education Network (FCCHEN) allowed to complete DRDP?
FCCHEN teachers are responsible for completing the DRDP. Agencies may call them specialists or coordinators. Indeed, family child care providers are encouraged to assist in collecting evidence and documentation of the child’s growth and progress. However, since they are not employees or direct contractors of the state, they cannot be required to complete the DRDP unless it is part of the contract with the FCCHEN.

How does the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) relate to the foundations?
Foundations focus on nine domains: social-emotional development, language and literacy, English-language development, mathematics, visual and performing arts, physical development, health, as well as history/social science. The foundations provide early childhood educators, parents, and the public with a clear understanding of the wide range of knowledge and skills that preschool children typically attain when participating in a high-quality preschool program. The DRDP is a child observation tool aligned with the foundations. The DRDP provides teachers with a means to assess children’s learning along a continuum of four different developmental levels. The foundations and the DRDP are to be used together to plan the environment, play, learning activities and instruction to meet the needs of the children and provide a high-quality preschool experience.

Who developed the DRDP-K© assessment instrument?
The DRDP-K was developed by the California Department of Education, with additional enhancements created in collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education.

What grade level does the DRDP-K assess?
The intended target populations are transitional and traditional kindergarten students.

What are the features of the DRDP-K?
The DRDP–K's key features are described below:

  • DRDP–K is administered through observation in natural settings through teacher observations, family observations, or examples of children’s work. This recommended early childhood assessment practice excludes ongoing documentation of children's behavior in natural environments.
  • DRDP–K (2015) replaces the DRDP–SR (2012)©.
  • DRDP–K represents a full continuum assessment instrument for all children in kindergarten, including children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
  • DRDP–K is aligned with the Common Core Standards.
  • DRDP–K considers the specific cultural and linguistic characteristics of the diverse kindergarten population, including dual language learners.

What does the DRDP-K assess?
The DRDP-K assesses children’s development in 11 domains:

  • Approaches to Learning–Self–Regulation (ATL–REG)
  • Social and Emotional Development (SED)
  • Language and Literacy Development (LLD)
  • English Language Development
  • Cognition: Math (COG: MATH)
  • Cognition: Science (COG: SCI)
  • Physical Development (PD)
  • Health (HLTH)
  • History-Social Science (HSS)
  • Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)
  • Language and Literacy Development in Spanish (SPAN) is a supplemental domain

What are the different views of the DRDP-K?
There are three views of the DRDP-K (comprehensive, fundamental, and essential) available for all program types.

  • The DRDP-K Comprehensive View focuses on the full range of learning and development that early childhood curricula generally cover.
  • The DRDP-K Fundamental View fully addresses the five domains of school readiness and meets the needs of OSEP reporting for children with IEPs.
  • The DRDP-K Essential View focuses on selected measures within selected domains. 

How will the results from the DRDP-K be used at the classroom, LEA, and state levels?
At the classroom and LEA level, teachers and administrators use the DRDP-K to determine the extent to which students achieve the desired results. Teachers may differentiate their instruction and target individuals or groups of students to improve results in particular domains.  At the state level, educators use the desired results system to identify successes and areas for improvement so that the CDE can provide support and technical assistance to increase transitional and traditional kindergarten program quality.

What is DRDP Online?
DRDP Online is an online data entry system for the DRDP-K, so teachers may compile information about students in their classes and print out summary reports on individuals and groups of students. The data is stored in the cloud. Administrators may also print summary reports for all children or groups of students.

What technical assistance is available for teachers and administrators?
There are five primary methods of training and technical assistance

  • Online training modules
  • Online tutorials (what DRDP is, how to rate the DRDP)
  • Toolkit (documentation aids, mini-measures, navigation map, classroom posters)
  • Multi-session Webinars to support teachers’ implementation
  • In-person training available as scheduled through the DRDP-K Website at

Is the DRDP-K aligned with the Preschool Learning Foundations, the California Kindergarten Content Standards, and the Common Core Standards?
Yes. The DRDP-K is aligned with existing and future state frameworks and assessments. 

How long does it take to complete a DRDP-K assessment for one student?
It depends. As teachers become more familiar with the assessment and observe more individual students, their proficiency will become increasingly efficient. For example, in the development field study, teachers reported the tool was user-friendly and expressed that the instrument got easier to complete as they went along.

How often is this assessment administered?
Teachers observe students as they participate in routine classroom activities and complete the DRDP-K for each child within the first eight weeks of school. The assessment can be repeated in the spring to gauge students’ progress throughout the year and support their transition to the next grade level.

For students with IEPs, what is the requirement for reporting DRDP-K student results into DRDP Access?
DRDP–K represents a full continuum assessment instrument for all children in kindergarten, including children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Why should teachers and administrators use this assessment instrument?
The DRDP-K was developed so that in the process of using the instrument, teachers learn:

  • A valid and reliable method for observing, documenting, and reflecting on all students' learning, development, and progress in their classrooms.  All teachers look at students’ progress with a common framework; it facilitates conversations between teachers.
  • Detailed developmental information about each child based on specific research on child development. The DRDP-K is a developmentally-appropriate assessment that provides richer and more accurate information about students’ developmental progress.
  • How to anticipate what comes next for children developmentally because the DRDP-K fits with what teachers are already doing and supports real-time scaffolding.
  • How to integrate information from other required assessments to inform their teaching.

DRDP Online

How do I know my user role within the DRDP Online system?
You can view your user role(s) by selecting your name from the menu at the left and then selecting User Profile.

How do I know the functions associated with each type of user role?
For details about roles and permissions, see the DRDP Online Roles and Permissions resource.

What is the difference between the Agency Administrator and Lead Agency Administrator roles?
A user with the Lead Agency Administrator role has all the same access and permissions as an Agency Administrator and can also select the age-level instrument views for an agency. For more details about roles and permissions, see the DRDP Online Roles and Permissions resource.

Are Lead Agency Administrators able to add new administrators to the system?
Yes. Users with the Lead Agency Administrator role can add new administrators to the system.

Can one administrator be assigned to multiple sites?
Yes. A user with the Agency Administrator role may be assigned to multiple sites.

Can a different site administrator be assigned to each site?
Yes, an agency administrator may assign a unique site administrator to each site. Users with the Site Administrator role may also be assigned to multiple sites.

Do all sites within an agency have to use the same age-level instrument views?
Yes. The Lead Agency Administrator selects the age-level instrument views for an agency.

How are the age-level instrument views selected?
The Lead Agency Administrator selects the age-level instrument views for an agency. For details on selecting the age-level instrument views, see the Instructions to Select the DRDP View (PDF) and Selecting Assessment View for Your Agency (video).

When does the Lead Agency Administrator select the view for our program? Can we change the view before the new contract year?
Annually, the Lead Agency Administrator must select the DRDP views for each age level that your agency, family child care home, or school district will use for the new fiscal school year. Once selected, the view should not be changed until the next contract year begins. Switching views after rating will result in teachers being unable to see the ratings completed on the previous view. In addition, all DRDP views will be locked on November 12, 2022, to ensure report functionality.

Please review the DRDP measures and views chart for detailed information on domains and measures and their corresponding views and levels. In addition, this tip sheet for lead administrators and the tutorial on selecting instrument views are helpful resources. For additional support, please schedule an appointment with the DRDP support team.

Is there a way to upload new users via an upload template?
Yes. Users with an administrator role may add new users to DRDP Online. For details on uploading new users using an upload template, see the Using Templates to Upload Users (PDF) and the Adding Users video.

Where is the current DRDP Online upload template?
The only accepted template for uploading child demographics and ratings is the DRDP Online All Instrument Upload Template. For details on uploading child demographics and ratings using an upload template, see the Using Templates to Upload (Add) and Update Child Files (PDF) and the Uploading Child Demographics and Ratings video.

Is there a way to upload new children to DRDP Online and update the files for children already in the system using an upload template?
Yes. Users with an administrator role may add new children to DRDP Online and update the files for existing children using an upload template. For details on uploading new children and updating files using a template, see the Using Templates to Upload and Update Child Files (PDF) and Child Upload Templates (video).

How do I edit children’s demographic information?
Only users with an administrator role may edit children’s demographic information. To access a child’s demographic information, use the Search for Child/Enroll option from the menu on the left. Next, select the orange eye icon from the search results to view the child’s demographic information. Next, select the pencil on the left to edit the child’s demographic information and save any changes made. Children’s demographic information may also be updated using an upload template (see question above).

Is there a way to upload and lock children’s ratings using a template?
Yes. Users with an administrator role may upload and lock children’s ratings using an upload template. For details on how to upload children’s ratings using an upload template, see the Using Templates to Upload (Add) and Update Child Files (PDF) and the Child Upload Templates (video).

Do I have to add new classes for each rating period?
Yes. Users with an administrator role add classes. For more information about adding classes, see the Getting Started for Administrators (PDF) and Adding Classes (video).

Which type of user can add children to classes?
Users with an administrator role may add children to classes. See the DRDP Online Roles and Permissions resource for more details about roles and permissions. For more information on how to add children to classes, see the Getting Started for Administrators (PDF), Reassign and Reenroll Children for Administrators (PDF), and Managing Enrollment (video).

Is it required that I upload teacher observations to DRDP Online?
No. DRDP Online is for entering children’s ratings and generating reports.

Why am I being asked to report my agency and site location addresses in DRDP Online?
The DRDP Online website is working toward upgrading and expanding the system. To help with this project, we request current, complete address information on your school district, agency, or center. This will assist in the organization, operation, and implementation of DRDP Online in the coming years. Lead Agency Administrators are asked to enter their location and site addresses upon login for help in this organizational project.

What reports are available in DRDP Online?
These reports are available in DRDP Online.

  • The Group Progress Report provides information for all children in one rating period.
  • The Cohort Progress Report provides domain scale scores for a selected group of children. It also allows selecting a filter, such as program type. In addition, the report shows all domain-scaled scores for a selected group within the current year (to date).
  • The Child Progress Report provides information on individual children in one rating period or the child's progress over the year if ratings are entered and locked in more than one rating period.
  • The Parent Progress Report is a summary report for parent conferences that includes Child Progress over time. It includes graphics and descriptors to show the child’s rating and additional descriptive information about their progress.
  • The Class Planning Report allows users to select a rating period and classroom to generate a report for all the children in the classroom. The report will include scaled scores for these children in all rating periods in the current year.
  • Administrators can use the Rating Completion Report to check percentages, and numbers of classes and children, that their staff has rated for a specific rating period.
  • The Group Detail Report provides percent by measure for each developmental level for the selected group within the current year (to date) for agency planning or reporting purposes.

What does “cohort” mean in the Cohort Progress Report?
The Cohort Progress Report shows the progress of a group (or cohort) of children over a year. For example, a user may select Fall 2021 and see the children’s progress from Fall through Spring 2022. If Spring 2022 is selected, the report will find the children with ratings in spring and show their progress throughout the year.

Why can’t I see my school-age reports?
These school-age reports are available in DRDP Online: Class Planning Report for School Age Complete, Group Detail Report, and Child Progress Report. You can also print the rating record.

My agency’s numbers are different every day when I look at my reports. Why is this happening?
Proficiencies are moving into DRDP Online each day. As proficiencies are added, more reports become available. Therefore, we recommend that users check for updates regularly.

I locked the ratings for all my children. So why can’t I see my reports yet?
Once ratings are entered and locked, a scoring engine calculates those ratings to generate reports. However, adding records to the scoring engine daily takes time; therefore, the reports are not automatically generated and available.


Are training materials available on the website?
Training materials* are available on the Desired Results website under Professional Development. In addition, check out the DRDP Observation Resources page for the Getting to Know You through Observation DVD and training workbook. It has many great ideas, plus clips of children to use for training. These materials are intended solely for use by state-funded agencies for educational purposes. Commercial use is not authorized without express permission.

Is there any other training available?
The Desired Results team offers 40+ free webinars in English and Spanish on various topics, such as navigating the California Early Childhood Online (CECO) website, DRDP Online data and understanding reports, views of the DRDP assessment, DRDP Portfolio app, and much more.

DRDP Online tip sheets and YouTube microlearning videos are available on the DRDP Online Resources. Desired Results also offers fee-for-service teacher training. 

Many free online modules are available on California Early Childhood Online (CECO). In addition to DRDP and Rater Certification modules, topics include Health and Safety, Integrated Learning, Family Partnership and Culture, Safe Sleep, Sesame Street modules, and more. 

Is training of trainers available on the DRDP?
The Desired Results Certified Trainer Institute trains a cadre of trainers on the DRDP. In addition, the materials provided at the Desired Results Regional Training can be utilized for training staff.

Where can I find a list of Desired Results certified trainers?
Please contact us if you want to know if a trainer is certified. To schedule training for your agency, please complete the Training Request Form.

Is there a training video or materials for the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP)?
Online courses on the DRDP, Observation of Young Children, and Preschool English Learners may be available through California Early Childhood Online (CECO). Training materials are routinely posted on the Desired Results/Professional Development webpages.

Is there also a state-adopted curriculum based on research from the Desired Results system as a guide?
Curriculum adoption is a local decision.