Early Screenings are vital to a child’s overall health and development. It is often the first opportunity in a child’s life to identify concerns as well as mitigate costs and interventions in later child development. To raise awareness of this critical piece to supporting child outcomes, the Office of Head Start is celebrating Early Childhood Screening Week.

During this week, the Office of Head Start is shining light on the importance of the issue as well as bringing attention to a plethora of resources for programs, providers, advocates, and families.

Such resources include the basics of early childhood screenings, how to engage families in the process, as well as the different types of screenings available for developing children and much more.

Early and effective screening can inform families and providers with the information they need to successfully support young children so they are ready for Kindergarten. Most recently in comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) regarding Accountability and State Plans under ESSA, we encouraged the department to meaningfully integrate screening into state plans, as well as including screening among the potential interventions for comprehensive and targeted support schools. Encouraging states to consider the role early developmental and behavioral screening can play in ensuring equitable access to a well-rounded education, including helping with the accurate identification of children with disabilities, can be a critical first step to ensuring all students graduate from college career ready.

Read FFYF’s full comments on ESSA Accountability in the States here and check out the plethora of resources the Office of Head Start has shared with advocates here.