To develop a quick, practical tool to identify home environments likely to be suboptimal for the development of children, we adapted segments of the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory, which assesses the environments of children from birth to 6 years, and devised the Home Screening Questionnaire (HSQ). Whereas the HOME Inventory requires a home visit, the HSQ consists of two forms, one for children from birth to 3 years, another for 3 to 6 years, that are completed by parents without a home visit. The questions are formulated at the third to sixth grade reading level and can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes. Scoring and interpretation by a professional takes 5 minutes. HSQ questions were answered by more than 1500 parents of low-income families. Between 81% and 86% of the environments determined to be of concern by the HOME Inventory were identified by the briefer and less expensive HSQ. Thus the HSQ readily lends itself to use by health care providers who serve low-income families.