The aims of this study were to gain an understanding of fundamental cognitive development in the domain of letter reading in children 5 years old of age, and to develop a checklist that is brief and easily used by preschool teachers as a means of objective assessment. The study examined the associations between scores of a prototype checklist and scores from individual assessment by specialists. The agreement rate of each checklist item with corresponding individual assessment results was identified, and some developmental indices were obtained. Among the items related to phonological awareness, the ability to play shiritori displayed a higher agreement rate than the rest as suggested in previous literature. Among the items related to letter reading, those involved with the ability to read letters of different types (particularly daku-on and yo-on) displayed a lower agreement rate. Future research needs to reexamine the checklist items to improve the effectiveness and feasibility at preschool, and consider the addition of items that ask about letter writing.