Child Development

Find resources about developmental milestones and developmental screening for children in your care.

As a child care provider, you are an expert in children. Every child develops at their own pace but there are skills we expect children to accomplish by certain age like walking and talking. If you have concerns, it is time to huddle up with families and take action.
Five different aged African girls posing on white background

Developmental Milestones and Screenings

How do you know if the children in your care are on the right track?  Developmental milestones tell us ways that children should speak, act and learn by certain ages.  When children are on track it is time to celebrate.  When you are concerned a child is not reaching developmental milestones, it’s time to talk to the family and get more information.  Developmental screenings are one way to get more information.  Child care providers can get trained to give and score developmental screenings or refer families to doctors or community agencies that provide screenings.  All children should be screened at 9, 18, 24, 30 months and every year after that.  Developmental screenings can catch developmental delays and disabilities early so children get the support they need.  Learn more about developmental milestones and screenings from Delaware Thrives for children 2 months to 8 years old.

In Delaware, ALL families have access to FREE developmental screening using the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ-3® & ASQ:SE:2®). Beginning July 2023 all licensed childcares will be required to provide developmental screening to all children ages birth to five, not yet in kindergarten.

There are several websites that provided information and resources for providers to conduct these easy to use, family friendly screeners to catch delays and celebrate milestones.

Are you a provider wanting to access your ASQ Online Account? Visit the Delaware Department of Education Developmental Screening Resource page on the Office of Early Learning website for more information.

The Developmental Screening page on the Delaware Readiness Team’s website also provides resources.

Get started with these FREE required Orientation trainings to access the ASQ Online System.
These trainings are required for all points of contact in programs:

  • who do not have DDOE ASQ Online Account access
  • or are new points of contacts for an existing account
  1. Supporting Family-Led Developmental Monitoring:
    • This training is for providers to learn more about developmental monitoring and partnering with families to complete developmental screening. Here is a link to register:
  1. Introduction to ASQ-3 and ASQ: SE-2 and complete the workbook through DIEEC. Here is a link to the training calendar to register:

Additional Resources:

2023 Letter to Child Cares

Delaware’s ASQ Technical Assistants Jenny Grady and Jamie Walko discussed the changes in using the ASQ Online Database and state process.  (1.5 hour run time):

Please note the age cut off’s were adjusted in April 2022

This training is for you to share with families to help families learn more about developmental monitoring and screening. (.5 hour run time)

For more information and history on Delaware’s developmental screening initiative, follow this link to view (1 hour run time):

Helpful Links

DDOE Developmental Screening Resource Page

DDOE Screening Email:

ASQ Support Request

Links to bills guiding this initiative:

Provider Quick Start Guide

ASQ Provider Quick Start Guide 2022 BW

ASQ Provider Manual 2022

ASQ Provider Infographic 2022 BW

Lead Screening

Lead screening is required for all children at 12 months of age, and again at 24 months of age, regardless of risk factors. Screening is defined as a capillary fingerstick in a doctor’s office, or a venous blood test at a laboratory; screening is not a questionnaire. All child care providers and public schools require proof of screening at 12 and 24 months of age for enrollment. For more information on the importance of lead screening please view Highmark – Importance of Lead Screening. Find more information at Lead-Free Delaware.

Support for developmental delays and disabilities

Children with developmental delays and disabilities may be eligible for early intervention programs.

Children from birth to 3 years old

Birth to Three Regional Programs (previously known as Child Development Watch) can create a personalized plan to help children develop.  It offers services such as:

  • nutrition plans
  • physical therapy
  • psychological services
  • speech-language therapy

An appointment for an evaluation to determine if a child is eligible for services like these can be made by contacting the following locations in your county.

New Castle County:
University Office Plaza – Chopin Building
258 Chapman Road
Newark, DE 19702
(302) 283-7240 or (800) 671-0050

Kent/Sussex County:
18 N. Walnut Street
Milford, DE 19963
(302) 424-7300 or (800) 752-9393

Children from 3 to 5 years old

If you think a child in your care has developmental delays or a disability, please contact the Child Find department within your school district.  If you are unsure which school district you live in, you can search with your address.

High Quality Care and Education for Children with Disabilities

All children have the right to receive high quality learning opportunities and participate in programs that meet their developmental needs.  Sometimes, it may be difficult to have the right level of expertise to support the children you care for.

The purpose of the Delaware Early Education Inclusion Guide is to help early childhood professional in Delaware meet the needs of young children with disabilities.  The guide is for family child care providers as well as preschool and child café center program administrators, directors, and curriculum coordinators and the early childhood professionals in the classrooms – the teachers, the assistant teacher, and the aides who service infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that ensures children receive early intervention special education and related services.  These services are accessed through Child Development Watch (Part C) or Delaware Public School Districts (Part B).

My Child DE is a user-friendly website that brings together resources to help families, providers and other caretakers make informed choices for the children of Delaware. The goal of My Child DE is to help these groups feel welcome, informed and empowered to engage, learn and take the next steps needed to support children.