Do States have to provide information about developmental screenings?

Publication Date: March 24, 2015

Answer

Yes, the statute requires States to provide information regarding developmental screenings as part of consumer education activities.  Specifically, the law requires the State to include:

  1. Information on existing resources and services the State can provide, including the coordinated use of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program and developmental screening services available under section 619 and part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), to conduct developmental screenings and to provide referrals to services for children receiving CCDF assistance, and
  2. A description of how a family or provider may use these resources to obtain developmental screenings for children who may be at risk of developmental delays. 

The developmental screening process can be difficult for parents and child care providers to navigate, particularly those with limited English proficiency and low literacy rates.  States can play a critical role by working across child care and other service systems to ensure that parents and child care providers have the information and supports they need to help children who might be at risk for social, emotional, physical or linguistic delays.  The ACF project Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! has information on research-based developmental screening tools and other resources at /programs/ecd/child-health-development/watch-me-thrive.

(Reference: Section 658E(c)(2)(E)(ii))