Even though 92% of childcare providers indicate it is important to track the development of children in their care using an objective checklist, only 60.14% reported doing so; methods of tracking varied by program type.
Although intervening early can improve child and family outcomes when a child has a developmental disability, most children with developmental delays are not identified prior to school entry. Childcare professionals can play a key role in identifying delays early. The developmental monitoring attitudes, knowledge, and practice of childcare providers in the United States are described based on survey data. Findings indicate that childcare providers commonly monitor development but may do so in ways that are better suited to providing care than to identifying risk for developmental disability. Most providers identify early intervention/ early childhood special education programs as a place to refer for developmental concerns, while not identifying referral to the doctor unless prompted to consider the doctor’s role. Overall, these findings suggest childcare providers may be well poised to identify delays and make referrals early through developmental monitoring but need additional knowledge and tools to do so effectively.
About the Lab:
The Department of Pediatrics Division of Child Development engages in research around the CDC’s Act Early Initiatives, with the aim to understand the factors that enable and hinder early identification of autism and other developmental disabilities among early childhood programs, and to test implementation of strategies to improve early identification and access to services.
About the Researcher:
Stephan Viehweg MSW, ACSW, LCSW, IMH-E® (IV), CYC-P is Associate Director of the Riley Child Development Center, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary leadership training program supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and faculty member of the IU School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and the IU School of Social Work. He also is the Associate Director of the IUPUI Center for Translating Research Into Practice.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Cristina James is the Data Coordinator, Associate Training Director, and Family Discipline Coordinator in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child Development at Indiana University School of Medicine. She has over 10 years of professional experience and a life-long lived experience in neurodevelopmental disorders which, combined with her analytical skills, allow her to effectively span across functions to help provide and improve many LEND outcomes.