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Universal screening to promote early identification of developmental delays: Exploring childcare providers' beliefs and practices

Despite the availability of tools for conducting universal developmental screening, only a fraction of children who could benefit from early intervention services are actually identified before reaching school age. Childcare providers are in a unique position to enhance early identification efforts. A web-based survey was distributed to all licensed childcare providers (centre- and family-based) throughout one Midwestern state to learn about their beliefs and practices associated with universal screening. Preliminary results, based on 1565 responses, indicate that only 16.3% of licensed childcares are conducting developmental screening. However, 54% reported believing it to be part of their role. In addition to this discrepancy, beliefs about their role in developmental screening were also related to other practices that are associated with early identification efforts. Implications and suggestions for practice and policy changes related to early, universal developmental screening in childcare are discussed relative to existing belief systems and professional development needs. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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