LEND Project Looks at Developmental Surveillance and Screening in Early Childcare settings (OH-Nisonger Center UCEDD/LEND)

December 21, 2016

Nisonger LEND trainees and faculty Andrea Witwer, PhD and Jennifer Walton, MD, MPH, are involved in a multi-year project examining developmental screening and surveillance of Ohio children in early childhood settings. The goal of the project is to improve early identification of children with developmental delays. As more very young children spend time in childcare, providing training on evidence based screening to childcare providers can potentially provide an additional safety net to help identify children with delays early. Now in its third year this leadership project has completed a needs assessment of childcare providers and childcare center directors with regard to developmental surveillance and screening of children with developmental delays. Survey results suggested three factors which impact childcare providers' ability to screen children for developmental delay:

  1. Lack one-on-one time with children,
  2. Need for adequate training on evidence based screening and how to talk with parents,
  3. Cost of assessments.

Directors' perspective differed in that they reported both professional development and access to resources are available to staff, but they see a need for support on how to address problem behaviors. Both directors and childcare providers agreed on the need for additional training on how to communicate with parents regarding screening results and/or behavioral concerns.
This year the project is completing a review of available resources and trainings for Ohio childcare providers and the distribution and referral processes of screening tools, such as the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) and Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3).