Evaluation of the Feasibility and Perceived Value of Integrating Learn the Signs. Act Early. Developmental Monitoring Resources in Early Head Start

Academic Article


  • Many children with developmental disabilities are not identified before age 3 years of age, preventing them from being able to fully benefit from early intervention services. Early childhood educators, particularly those in Early Head Start (EHS) programs, are important partners in the early identification of children with developmental delays. Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE) is a program of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that provides free developmental monitoring resources to increase the early identification of children with developmental delays and disabilities. This paper presents findings from the first evaluation of the use of LTSAE resources in EHS, which was conducted across four states and 11 EHS programs from fall 2018 through spring 2019. Surveys (n = 448) and interviews (n = 39) with EHS management, staff, and parents indicated that LTSAE resources were valued and accepted, and their use in EHS considered feasible. Importantly, families and staff reported the LTSAE materials provided shared language to help them more effectively discuss development. These findings inform EHS and other early education programs that wish to enhance developmental monitoring, screening, and referral.
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  • Abercrombie J; Pann J; Shin F; Taylor E; Brisendine AE; Swanson-Holm R; James C; Viehweg S; Chödrön G