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A Complete Guide to Preschool Progress Reports

Comprehensive preschool progress reports promote child development and boost family engagement. Learn what developmental areas to track to support children's learning at your program. 

A Complete Guide to Preschool Progress Reports

A Complete Guide to Preschool Progress Reports

For a child to be successful, families and teachers need to work together to support their learning. A preschool progress report is a valuable tool for educators to track each child’s development in key areas and keep families informed and engaged in their child’s learning outcomes.

In this article, we explore the benefits of preschool progress reports and what developmental areas to track to best support children's growth. 

a woman holding a preschooler talking to another womanSource

Benefits of preschool progress reports

By documenting progress and identifying areas for growth, preschool progress reports foster a supportive environment that encourages personalized learning, ensuring every child receives the attention and resources they need to thrive. Other benefits include:

Documents progress in key developmental areas

A thorough progress report tracks a child’s growth and development in social-emotional, language, cognitive, and physical skills. The details gathered can be used to identify any learning and behavior trends, as well as any delays in developmental milestones

Allows families to engage with their child's learning

Preschool progress reports serve as a vital communication tool between educators and families. By keeping parents informed about their child's developmental progress, these reports foster greater family engagement and involvement. When parents are aware of their child's achievements and challenges, they can better support learning at home and collaborate with educators to address any concerns, thus creating a cohesive support system that benefits the child.

Facilitates lesson planning

Progress reports also offer valuable insights that guide educators in planning effective instructional strategies. By detailing each child's strengths and areas for improvement, these reports enable educators to design personalized learning experiences that cater to individual needs. This approach ensures that lessons and activities are targeted and effective, promoting optimal development for every child.

Which developmental areas should you track?

A preschool report card covers a child's progress in the main developmental areas of language and literacy, physical skills, social-emotional development, and cognitive skills. Monitoring these skills will help support children's development into well-rounded individuals and successful learners. 

Brightwheel's progress report feature makes it easy to track student progress. With customizable portfolio templates and easy sharing with families, brightwheel streamlines your milestone tracking and enhances learning outcomes at your program. 

Language and literacy development

The skills in this section include reading, communicating with others, and writing.

For language and literacy skills, focus on:

  • Growing their interest in books and reading. Possible activities include story time, singing the alphabet song, and learning to recognize letters. 
  • Encouraging their ability to ask questions verbally and nonverbally.
  • Improving their verbal and nonverbal communication.


Physical development

Physical progress is linked to other areas of early development, such as sensory development, cognitive thinking, and social-emotional development. 

For a physical progress evaluation, focus on tracking:

  • Gross and fine motor skills: Pay attention to their ability to throw or kick a ball, hold a crayon, skip, and bounce. 
  • Independence: This includes how they zip their coat, tie their shoelaces, close their buttons, and swing without help.
  • Hand and eye coordination: Track their ability to string beads, connect dotted activities, and play with jigsaw puzzles.


Social-emotional development

Social-emotional skills are essential to a child’s ability to establish positive relationships with others.

Social-emotional skills include: 

    • Ability to recognize, regulate and express their emotions
    • Ability to cooperate and problem solve with their peers
    • Ability to follow instructions and class routines

Cognitive development

Cognition refers to a child's mental process of comprehending issues and gaining knowledge. Cognitive processes include problem-solving, memory, perceptual reasoning, and verbal comprehension. 

For cognitive development, focus on: 

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Improved story narrating skills 
  • Recognizing and naming colors

Preschool progress report examples  

Your report’s design will depend on what you're reporting, how many items are on your checklist, and how often you report. Here are a few templates to consider: 

Daily preschool progress report

This preschool daily report template tracks daily activities like meals and naps, as well as each day's learning highlights in key skill areas.

brightwheel preschool daily report template

Quarterly progress report

A quarterly preschool progress report gives children ample time to learn new things and develop skills. This template tracks and assesses skills on a quarterly basis.


Quarterly preschool progress report templateSource

Skills progress report

This template records progress on specific skills such as reading/writing, social-emotional, and motor skills.

preschool progress reportSource

FAQs on preschool progress reports

What is included on a preschool progress report?

A preschool progress report includes comments on all aspects of a child's development, including:

  • Social-emotional skills

  • Physical skills

  • Cognitive skills

  • Language and literacy skills

Include observations on a child's accomplishments and areas of improvement. Note any unique behavior. 

How do you write a progress report for a preschool student?

Include developmental achievements and any specific challenges the child has and discuss the progress they've been making. End by stating any goals and next steps and provide families with any resources or suggestions to support their child.

How do I gather information for a preschool progress report?

  • Be observant. Watching how children interact with other children, solve their problems, or play can help you evaluate their motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and social-emotional skills. 
  • Be present and listen. When you're around children, you're a part of their world. Pay attention and listen to how they reason.
  • Understand the curriculum you're using. Understanding your curriculum ensures you're clear on your expectations of the children, making it easier to support and evaluate them.

How often do I issue a preschool progress report?

Children are rapidly growing and reaching new milestones in their preschool years, so a regular reporting cadence will show a child's clear progress from one point to another. While the exact frequency will vary depending on your program, it is a good idea to schedule your formal preschool progress reports quarterly or semi-annually.

Final thoughts 

Preschool progress reports help ensure children get the support they need in early childhood. They can focus on a short-term goal like improving a challenging behavior, or a long-term goal like improving their reading and writing skills. As an educator, you can choose the best format and reporting cadence that fits the needs of your children as you guide them to the next stage of their development.

Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at

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