COS-KC: Key Terms

This is a list of terms that are used in the Child Outcomes Summary Knowledge Check (COS-KC). The table also includes related terms used in some states to describe these same concepts.

Key Term Related Term Definition
Child Outcomes Summary (COS) form, ratings, or process Early Childhood Outcomes (ECOs) form, ratings, or process The form, ratings, or process where children served by EI/ECSE receive team ratings in three outcomes areas to describe their current level of functioning for federal reporting and program improvement
Early Intervention (EI) Part C or a specific program name used in your state Services provided by the state for children birth to 3 years of age with disabilities or other special needs
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Preschool special education, Section 619, Part B Preschool, Part B 619, or a specific program name used in your state Special education services for children 3-5 years old with disabilities or other special needs
Outcome 1, Outcome 2, Outcome 3 Outcome A, Outcome B, Outcome C or referred to collectively as:
  • the three child outcomes or
  • the three global child outcomes
The COS summarizes information on a child’s functioning in each of the three child outcome areas:
  1. Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships)
  2. Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication [and early literacy*])
  3. Use of appropriate behaviors to meet needs

*Early literacy only applies for children ages 3-5 years.

Practitioner Provider, service provider, professional, early interventionist, specialist, service coordinator, teacher, teacher assistant, related service provider, therapist, therapy assistant Anyone who provides early intervention or early childhood special education services or early childhood general education
Age Expected (AE)
Immediate Foundational (IF)
Foundational (F)
AE = age appropriate
IF = younger child
F = much younger child
Age-expected (AE) skills are skills and behaviors that would be expected for the child’s chronological age.
Immediate foundational (IF) skills are the skills that occur developmentally just before age-expected functioning. A child whose functioning is like that of a younger child is probably showing immediate foundational skills. Her functioning does not meet age expectations, but she demonstrates skills and behaviors that occur developmentally just prior to age-expected functioning and are the basis on which to build age-expected functioning.
Foundational (F) skills are the skills that develop early and serve as the foundation or the base for later skills and behavior. A child whose functioning is like that of a much younger child is probably showing foundational skills. Foundational skills are farther away from age expected skills and behaviors. All skills that lead to higher levels of functional are foundational skills.
Age anchoring Age referencing, or relating to benchmarks or developmental strands Age anchoring is the process of examining a child’s functional abilities skills and behaviors and determining how close that functioning is to the functioning expected for the child’s chronological age. It is important to focus on functional abilities rather than isolated (or discrete) skills that a child may have demonstrated only during assessment.

The content on this page was was created and last reviewed in October 2022.