Guest Blog by Camille Smith, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
If you have not already had a child in your care with a developmental delay or disability, chances are, you will. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1 in 6 children has a developmental disability. Children with developmental problems are at increased risk for poor outcomes in many areas important to health, well-being and success in life.
Early treatment and services can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills, and earlier identification will maximize children’s opportunities to benefit from services. Most children with developmental delays are not identified early enough for them to benefit from early intervention services. You can help change that.
You spend the day caring for and teaching children and are instrumental in determining many of the experiences they have. You celebrate milestones children reach and you are concerned when they do not reach those very important milestones. You are a trusted partner and valuable resource to families. They look to you for information on how their child is developing, because you often have good observations about their child’s strengths and needs.
You can play an important role in the early identification of developmental delay by tracking the development of each child in your care, sharing materials and resources with families so that they too can monitor their child, and talking with families about their child’s development. Monitoring each child’s development is easy with the right tools and resources.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program has free materials to help you monitor a child’s development, have important conversations with families about their child’s development, and take early action on developmental concerns.
“Learn the Signs. Act Early.” offers:
- Developmental milestone checklists
- Tips for helping children grow and learn
- Guidance on how to take early action on developmental concerns, and
- COMING SOON: online training for early care and education providers for FREE CE credit!
“Learn the Signs. Act Early.” materials are research based, parent-friendly, and even customizable! Best of all they are free and easy to download from your computer.
Don’t Wait. Tracking milestones and acting early on developmental concerns can make a big difference!!
Please visit the Child Care Aware® of America Symposium page for details about Camille’s Symposium session.