Making sure children have the opportunity to reach their potential starts long before they get to school. The experiences they have in their first five years set the stage for their future success. Screenings are an easy way for parents to check if their child's development is on track."
Building Our Future means starting from the bottom to form a strong base. If we do it right from the start, there will be less to fix later when it is much more complicated.”
For more data and analysis, visit: https://www.buildingourfuturekc.org/smart-beginnings1.html
What We're Doing
In 2018, Smart Beginnings focused on educating parents about developmental milestones and connecting families to community assets that support child development.
To do this, Smart Beginnings established a targeted pilot that partnered with childcare centers in administering the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) screening, working to establish a network of referral partners, and more fully embedding the screen into systems serving young children, including healthcare and education.
The ASQ-3 is a parent-completed developmental screener for children between 1 month and 5.5 years to see if they are on track with their development. YoungStar, Wisconsin’s childcare rating system, includes training staff in ASQ-3 implementation as part of bolstering educational practices—just one of many different factors that goes into their 1 to 5-star rating system.
To connect families to community resources, Smart Beginnings partners are complementing the developmental screening strategy with the Know & Go app, which centralizes schedules of community events that promote child development.
INCREASE IN ASQ-3 SCREENS AND AWARENESS
The Network set a goal of increasing the number of reported ASQ-3 screens completed in Kenosha County by 75% over the total from 2017. Through this work, 2018 led to an increase of 94% over last year. Anecdotal evidence points to an increase in parental awareness of the screener and developmental milestones, as well.
BIRTH TO 3 REFERRAL INCREASE
The Birth to 3 program in Kenosha County, delivered in partnership with KAC, provides federally mandated early-intervention services to support families of children with developmental delays. From 2013 to 2017, Birth to 3 experienced steady referrals to the program. In 2018 with the laser focus of Smart Beginnings on developmental screenings, Birth to 3 saw a 23% increase in referrals over 2017 referrals, and served an additional 100 families this year. When families receive needed services earlier, the likelihood that children will return to being developmentally on track with their peers increases.
DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONE AWARENESS
By aligning work around the ASQ-3 developmental screener, piloting childcare centers shared that the tool served as a much-needed framework for discussions with parents about child development. After being trained in using the ASQ-3, childcare teachers had more knowledge about appropriate child development and were able to use the tool as a catalyst to advance those conversations with parents.