PROVIDERS

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 for children 2 months to 8 years old. 

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

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.

Delaware MAPS(Meaningful Access Participation and Supports) is a guide to help all who seek to support children with disabilities.  Since this guide was written in 2010, some phone numbers and websites may be outdated.

“The Guide to Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs” is another resource for early childhood professionals. This guide helps early childhood professionals in Delaware be “ready” to meet the needs of young children with disabilities and their families. This document was created in 2013 so some of the phone numbers might have changed.

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.