These resources support family service providers, home visitors, and other Head Start staff in engaging families when there are developmental concerns about their child. The resources address the initial conversations about screenings and developmental concerns and describe the referral and evaluation process. Engaging families in collaborative conversations about developmental concerns is more than just having a meeting or completing a form; it’s an ongoing process and an essential part of staff relationship with families.
In this interactive simulation, practice using relationship-based communications skills to raise and discuss concerns about a child’s development with the family.
Consider strategies for engaging families in conversations about sensitive topics, including developmental concerns.
Support positive interactions between early childhood education providers and families when there are developmental concerns about a child, by using these tools from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA). The checklists, video illustrations, and guides follow assessment practices recommended by the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children.
Watch this short video to find out about a family’s experience when they learn that their child has a special need. Reflect on ways to strengthen partnerships with families like this one.
Find guidance on effective strategies for early childhood staff to talk with families about their child’s development. Learn strength-based strategies to open conversations about developmental concerns.
This training module illustrates ways that early childhood staff can engage families when they have concerns that a child is at risk for a disability or developmental delay. Learn how to communicate the benefits of screenings and to provide support for families whose children will need further evaluation.
This CONNECT learning module provides Head Start staff with strategies for developing a trusting relationship with families while addressing challenging issues, including developmental concerns.
Learn about the process for screening recently enrolled children with disabilities or developmental delays and previously enrolled children for whom a developmental concern has emerged.
Find information on the referral and evaluation process that Head Start staff can initiate with families when there are developmental concerns about a child.
This training session includes information on referral and eligibility when there are developmental concerns about a child. Log into the Individualized Professional Development (iPD) Portfolio to complete this course and earn continuing education units (CEUs). Receive 0.1 CEUs or one contact hour.
Learn about the process for providing services to a child when there are developmental concerns, before a determination has been made about whether they qualify for an Individualized Family Service Plan or Individualized Education Program.
This ECTA resource offers guidance on how family members can effectively share their knowledge of their child with early childhood professionals, to support the child’s ongoing learning and development.
Review six steps in preparing for challenging conversations with families, including conversations about development concerns.
This ECTA resource describes the federal requirements for evaluating and assessing a child to determine whether they qualify for special education services and, if so, which services are appropriate for their needs, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Obtain information on the age range that each state and jurisdiction apply when determining eligibility due to developmental delay, under Part B of IDEA.
Find the federal and state definitions of an infant or toddler with a disability, for purposes of determining eligibility for special education services as described in Part C of IDEA.
Learn how programs can support the child for whom adults have developmental concerns but who does not qualify for special education services under IDEA.
Screening for potential developmental delays in children allows for early treatment and supportive services. On the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, Head Start educators and families will find a number of resources on developmental screening tools.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Parent, Family and Community Engagement
Last Updated: May 3, 2023