The LAP-3

child assessment, development
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The third edition of the Learning Accomplishment Profile provides a systematic method for observing the skill development of children functioning in the 36-72 month age-range. The purpose of this criterion-referenced assessment is to assist teachers, clinicians, and parents in assessing individual development. The LAP-3 contains a hierarchy of 383 developmental skills arranged in chronological sequence in six domains of development:

  • Gross Motor (54 items)
  • Fine Motor (40 items)
  • Pre-Writing (38 items)
  • Cognitive (87 items)
  • Language (69 items)
  • Self-Help (50 items)
  • Personal/Social (45 items)
LAP-3 products may be purchased from Kaplan or Red-E-Set-Grow.
Child Development
Because it is a criterion referenced assessment instrument, the LAP-3 may be administered in a variety of ways. A strict protocol for administering the instrument is not required. In some programs, a station approach is used where children go from a station for fine motor to a station for gross motor and so forth until all the domains are completed. This approach may be used at the beginning of the school or program year and then again at term’s end in the fashion of the pre-test, post-test mode. Other programs use the instrument to monitor child progress continuously during the program year. PDA (Palm Pilot, etc) software is available to assist teachers using this on-going assessment approach. Results are noted as observed on the hand-held PDA and then transferred to desktop computer, where results may be aggregated and reports created for individual and groups of children.
Child Development
If the administrator chooses to administer the entire LAP-3 in one sitting, we advise caution. The full LAP-3 will take approximately an hour and a half to complete and the results may be skewed by child boredom or lack of cooperation during such a long session. We advise that the instrument be administered one domain a time depending on the child’s attention span. Classroom staff may be organized to give the assessment in a station approach where children move from one domain station to another until all domains are covered. Teachers and caregivers who are familiar with the instrument can administer the LAP-3 while observing the child in a natural play situation.>>Back to Top.
Child Development
The results of the LAP-3 provide a complete picture of a child’s developmental progress so that individualized, developmentally appropriate, activities can be planned, implemented and monitored. This assessment can be used with any child functioning in the 36-72 month age-range including children with disabilities. The LAP-3 is not a “normed” or “standardized” instrument, so, therefore, its results should not be used in isolation to determine eligibility for special services or for other purposes that require standardized instruments. However, LAP-3 results are often used in combination with standardized instruments to determine developmental levels of functioning and eligibility for special services. Professionals often choose the LAP-3 because it gives a much more complete assessment of a child’s acquired skills and emerging skills than most standardized instruments.
Child Development
For a visual representation of the child’s developmental skills, use the profile form on the back of the LAP-3 Manual or Scoring Booklet. The profile is often used to show child progress to parents and caregivers.
Child Development
Assessment and observation summary forms are provided to summarize the progress of individual children at the beginning, middle, and end of the program year. Each form contains space to indicate skills the child has achieved, emerging skills, and strategies for supporting skill development at home.
Child Development
The third edition of LAP provides specific skill information for mastered and emerging skills. These results indicate broad patterns of development by domain as well as individual skill development.
Child Development
Assessment and Observation Summary Sheets Forms to summarize the progress of individual children at the beginning, middle, and end of the program year are provided in the back of the scoring booklet. Each form contains space to indicate skills the child has achieved, emerging skills, and strategies for supporting skill development at home. >>Back to Top.
Child Development
Software has been developed to assist teachers in using the LAP-3 as an on-going assessment tool in the preschool classroom. This software assists teachers in developing:
  • Individual assessment results and summaries
  • Classroom profiles
  • Parent reports
  • Group and individual progress charts
  • Links to developmentally appropriate activities
  • Individual, classroom, and center analysis of assessment results in relation to the Head Start Child Outcome
    Child Development
    Computer scoring assistant software is available in either in a web-based or CD-Rom format. An electronic scoring protocol is also available using a Palm Pilot application which facilitates using the LAP-3 as an ongoing assessment tool. For additional information on LAP software go to
    >>Back to Top.
Child Development
LAP-3 Manual
The 123-page manual forms the core of the assessment. The manual includes:
  • a materials list for each domain
  • procedural instructions for administering individual items
  • scoring criteria for each item
  • assessment and observation summary pages and a developmental profile page.
    >>Back to Top.

Scoring Booklet
The LAP-3 scoring booklet may be used for a single child for a program year. It contains an abbreviated form of each item name in the same sequential order as the manual and space for scoring the results of three assessments that may occur during a program year.

The LAP-3 scoring booklet is not an assessment instrument. It must be used in conjunction with the LAP-3 Manual. Teachers and administrators may use the scoring booklet when:
  1. They are very familiar with the criteria and protocol for administering the items
  2. They have several children to administer the assessment to, and they want to do so at lower cost. The scoring booklets come in packs of 20 and cost substantially less than using a manual for each child. >>Back to Top.

Assessment Kit
The materials needed to administer the LAP-3 are specified at the beginning of each assessment item in the LAP-3 Manual. The materials can be gathered by the examiner, or for more consistent results, a standard LAP-3 Kit can be purchased from Kaplan Early Learning Company. The LAP-3 Kit includes most of the necessary materials. For the sake of reliability and validity, we strongly recommend that kits be used that are composed of the same materials used in the validation study. >>Back to Top.

LAP-3 Learning Activity Cards
The Learning Activity Cards have been revised. They comprise a set of 383 sequenced cards correlated with each item in the LAP-3; organized by the seven domains. Each card describes a step-by-step procedure and various activities for supporting the development of a specific skill..>>Back to Top.
Child Development
Instructions for Using the Profile
After the pretest is completed, the examiner can use the profile chart to graphically show the results.
Child Development
Using a colored marker, color in each box that represents an item that was completed successfully by the child. Also color in all items to the left of those actually administered (this is the basal--check the instructions) because it is assumed that the child would have accomplished these easier, lower level items had they been administered. The numbers by the boxes match the numbers of the items in each skill area. Not all the boxes have numbers. Item 16, for example is the box to the right of item 15, item 17 is two boxes to the right, and so forth.
Child Development
Then, at the end of the program year or some other later time, administer the "post test" and color in the boxes that represent the items passed with a different, contrasting color. The result will give a graphic representation of the child's progress.>>Back to Top.
Child Development
Validity and Reliability
A study to examine and document the reliability and validity of the LAP-R was completed in 2003. A report concerning the results of this investigation is available from Kaplan. The research found “the LAP-3 to be reliable and valid in assessing the development of young children. The LAP-3 was found to have relatively high correlations between raw domain scores and chronological age for children in the 36-72 month age range, while older children aged out on most domains. The LAP-3 also evidenced good internal consistency and fairly low standard errors of measurement for each domain. Very good test-retest reliability and inter rater reliability were found for all domains of the LAP-3. Evidence of adequate construct validity was also shown. The LAP-3 was found to have very good criterion validity, based on comparisons with the Battelle Developmental Inventory. In sum, the LAP-3 evidences good reliability and validity characteristics, and is an appropriate tool for use in assessing young children's developmental functioning in the 36-72 month old age range. >>Back to Top.
Child Development
ECO Center Crosswalks

In working with states on outcome development and measurement approaches, the ECO Center cross-referenced the functional skills assessed by various published instruments with the three child outcomes required by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for Part B (Section 619) and Part C programs, to assess the degree to which these instruments measure the required outcomes. Priority was also given to instruments that states identified for outcomes measurement in the State Performance Plans submitted to OSEP.
Child Development
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the basal?A: If an item cannot be administered because the material is not available (e.g., a stairway) or some other extenuating circumstance, this should be noted in the comment column. However, it is important to recognize that such missing information compromises the ability of the assessment to provide an accurate overall picture of the child’s skills and should be acknowledged in subsequent uses of the assessment information for individual planning. >>Back to Top.
A.: The positive demonstration of eight consecutive behaviors.
Child Development
Q: How do I establish a basal?
A: Begin the assessment at a level where you believe the child will demonstrate success. When the child successfully demonstrates 8 items in a row, the basal has been established and it may be assumed that the child can demonstrate all earlier items in the developmental sequence.
Child Development
Q: What is the child misses the first item?
A: If the child fails to demonstrate a specific skill, the assessor should work backwards on the task hierarchy until the basal of eight consecutive items is established.
Child Development
Q: What if I have administered all the items in a domain and the child has not gotten eight consecutive items correct?
A: If a basal cannot be established because the child is too young to administer the first eight items or has not gotten eight consecutive items correct and all items have been administered, use the first item in that domain as the basal.
Child Development
Q: What is the ceiling?
A: The assessment should continue until the child accumulates three minuses in a five-item sequence.
Child Development
Q: How is the ceiling established?
A: After the basal has been determined, the assessment should continue until the child accumulates three minuses in a five-item sequence. This defines the child’s ceiling level of performance. The assessment should end at this point.
Child Development
Q: What if I administer all of the items in a domain and the child does not miss three out of five consecutive items?
A: If the child has established a basal and successfully completes all items in a domain without accumulating three minuses out of five consecutive items, use the last item of that domain as the ceiling cut off.
Child Development
Q: How should refusals be scored?
A: If the examiner administers an item and the child refuses to attempt it, the score should be recorded as a minus (-) with the word “refused” written in the comment column.
Child Development
Q: How do I compute the developmental age of the child I just assessed?
A: The purpose of the LAP-3 is to demonstrate exactly what a child can and cannot do in order to systematically observe acquired and emerging skills. The LAP-3 is not a standardized instrument and, so therefore, it is not intended to provide standardized or norm-referenced information. The developmental ages that are provided for each item in the LAP-3 may be used to approximate the child’s level of functioning. The Profile page when filled out, can give parents and caregivers an approximate representation of the child’s progress in each developmental domain.
Child Development
Q: The LAP-3 is not standardized. Do I need to follow the procedures exactly as they are written?
A: The procedures described in the LAP-3 were tested during the reliability and validity research. If you do not use the exact procedures, the results may not be as reliable as they would be otherwise.
Child Development
Q: Do I have to use the materials in the LAP-3 kit?
A: For the most reliable results, you should use the same materials that were used to validate the LAP-3. A kit of these materials is available from either of our publishing partners.
Child Development
Q: How do I score cross-referenced items:
A: A number of items on the LAP-3 are cross-referenced between domains. Because these items are exactly the same, the score for an item in one domain that is cross-referenced to another domain should be automatically entered in the second domain.
Child Development
Q: How do I score an item when the materials are not available?

The Learning Accomplishment Profile, 3rd Edition (LAP-3), is a criterion-referenced assessment for children functioning in the 36-72 month age-range. The purpose of the LAP-3 is to assist teachers, clinicians, and parents in assessing individual skill development of young children. The results can be used to generate a complete picture of a child’s developmental progress across seven developmental domains so that individualized, developmentally appropriate activities can be planned and implemented. This assessment can be used with children with typical and atypical development.
Child Development
As a criterion-referenced assessment, the LAP-3 neither assigns a diagnostic label nor yields statistically precise measures regarding a child’s level of functioning. It is not a standardized test. The information generated by the LAP-3 can be used in conjunction with norm-referenced when determining whether or not a child has a disability.
Child Development
The LAP-3 contains a hierarchy of 383 developmental skills arranged in chronological sequence in seven domains of development:

To purchase LAP products and training, please contact our publishing partners:


The 123-page LAP-3 manual (above), the kit (below) and other materials are available from Kaplan or Red-E-Set Grow.

Activity cards are available that correlate with the LAP-3 assessment.

Drug awareness for four-year-olds. Click here.

For CHTOP Curriculum Guides, click here: