Developmental indicators that are used for routine measurement in The Netherlands are usually chosen to optimally identify delayed children. Measurements on the majority of children without problems are therefore quite imprecise. This study explores the use of computerized adaptive testing (CAT) to monitor the development of young children. CAT is expected to improve the measurement precision of the instrument. We do two simulation studies - one with real data and one with simulated data - to evaluate the usefulness of CAT. It is shown that CAT selects developmental indicators that maximally match the individual child, so that all children can be measured to the same precision. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.