Portage Guide Online

Parents expect agencies to help their children grow and thrive.  Unfortunately, agencies often struggle to do that because determining where they exist developmentally and the most effective approaches to support growth are difficult.  The good news is Portage Guide Online addresses those challenges and many others through developmentally focused age-based assessment tools and a proven results-orientated process.  Portage Guide Online is based on the successful work of the Portage Project established in 1969 and is currently used in over 60 countries throughout the world.


Portage Guide Online is:

  • Functional.  The assessment indicators are found naturally occurring activities found in the child's home or in the classroom.

  • Strength-based.  Each indicator is expressed in the positive by stating what the child does do versus what the child does not do.

  • Inclusive.  Assessment, activity planning, and individualizing for children include the child's family and familiar caregivers.

  • Supportive.  The materials encourage families and caregivers to think reflectively and ecologically considering their relationship and interactions with their children and famlies.

Tool for Observation
and Planning

The Tool for Observation and Planning (TOP) tells you reliably and accurately where each child is developmentally across the following five areas:

  • Sensory

  • Communication and Literacy

  • Social and Emotional

  • Learning

  • Physical and Health

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Solving the Assessment Problem

Each developmental area, except Sensory, is comprised of multiple sequences, 47 in total, upon which the child is assessed across six age ranges providing an accurate point in time developmental picture.  With the Tool for Observation and Planning there's no more wondering or guesswork.

Solving the Support Problem

Each sequence in the Tool for Observation and Planning has an Activity Card link that offers the caregiver exciting and innovative ideas and strategies that support planning for development through daily routines, activities, interactions, and reflections.

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Solving the Planning Problem

Portage Guide Online helps solve the planning problem through the following forms:

  • Family Partnership

  • Sensory Observation

  • Communication and Literacy Observation

  • Social and Emotional Observation

  • Learning Observation

  • Physical and Health Observation

Solving the Partnership Problem

Parents and other family members are an important source of information about the child, including preferences for interactions, activities, developmental strengths, etc.  Formal and informal conversations with parents including opportunities to observe the child with their parents helps everyone involved better understand the child. 

You can share the observational data you've gathered with families using the Tool for Observation and Planning as they can provide additional valuable information for planning.  The Family Partnership form can also be used to promote collaboration with parents in the planning process.  Together, the home visitor/teacher and family can work together on goals for the child.