Developmental Screening

Developmental screening is an important first step in diagnosing children who have developmental delays or autism, yet many young children fail to receive it. Developmental screening checks all areas of child development, including moving, hearing, seeing, thinking, communicating, and social skills. Screening helps identify delays earlier in a child’s life – the time when intervention is most effective and least expensive.

To date, we’ve trained 280 service providers to implement routine child developmental screening, including social workers, child care providers and Head Start staff, mental health providers, public health nurses, staff from our First 5 Centers and homeless shelters, and other providers of early childhood services.

Last year, 4,300 children in First 5 Contra Costa-funded programs received developmental screening. One in five children screened had a possible development delay and were referred for further assessment.

New Developmental Playgroups

Children screened by staff at our First 5 Centers may be referred to developmental playgroups designed to help them catch up on their developmental milestones. The playgroups provide much needed early intervention services for children whose developmental delays – while still significant – do not qualify for state-funded services.

Specialists from We Care Services for Children and Baby Builders lead the playgroups, work with children to improve their development, and provide tips for parents on how to address their child’s unique challenges. Playgroups take place at the First 5 Centers and are provided in English and Spanish. Contact your First 5 Center for more information.

See the playgroups below: