Child Development

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

Every child develops differently. How do you know if a child is on track? There are ways that children should speak, act and learn by certain ages. These are called developmental milestones. For example, most babies make a lot of sounds and say “mama” by age nine months. When a child is on track, it’s time to celebrate.
Five different aged African girls posing on white background

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. They are used by trained professionals to see if a child’s is on track. Child care providers can get trained to give and score developmental screenings to the family or they can encourage families to talk to their doctors. All children should be screened at 9, 18, 24, 30 months and every year after that to determine if there are any concerns.  A doctor can tell if the concerns are a natural delay that the child will grow out of on their own or if it would require more assistance.

To learn more about developmental milestones and screenings visit:

If there are concerns about a child’s development, a child can be evaluated further to determine if he/she is eligible for services.

If the child is age birth to 3 years old, Child Development Watch is here to answer the question, “Is a child developing and learning like other children?” He or she may be growing and changing, yet may have difficulty hearing, seeing, talking, moving, or learning the way other children do.

If a child needs additional supports or services, a plan will be developed that fits the needs of the child and their family.
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

If the child is 3 to 5 years old…please contact the Child Find department of the school district where the child lives.  If you know the school district, get the phone number here.

Are you are unsure of the school district?  Search by entering the address here.

Another resource for early childhood professionals is the “Guide to Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs”.  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 makes available a free appropriate public education to all eligible children with disabilities and ensures special education and related services to those children.

The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.

Infants and toddlers, birth through age 2, with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C (Delaware Child Development Watch). While children and youth ages 3 through 21 receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B (Delaware Public School Districts).

Consumer Education is designed to help parents access information in order to make informed consumer choices
and to strengthen requirements to protect the health and safety of children in care.