Learn the Signs. Act Early. WIC Developmental Monitoring Project

OVERALL GOAL

Improve early identification of children with developmental disabilities, so that children and families can get the services and support they need.

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

A CDC program offering parent-friendly milestone checklists that make developmental monitoring of children, up to 5 years, both practical and easy.

ASPHN STRATEGY

Help state WIC clinics replicate the CDC’s developmental monitoring program model through English and Spanish virtual tools and training.

Good nutrition is important for the healthy development of a child’s mind and body. Children’s growth is monitored by checking their weight and height, while their development is tracked by looking for developmental milestones — how they play, learn, speak, act and move for their age.

Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE) is an evidence-informed program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that aims to increase both parent-engaged developmental monitoring of all children’s development and early action on possible concerns.

In 2018, ASPHN began helping states replicate LTSAE’s WIC model into their state’s WIC clinics. Between 2020 and 2022, ASPHN developed and worked with Technical Assistance states to test and provide feedback on virtual tools for promoting developmental monitoring within WIC. We also created a campaign to promote the products to additional states. Some of these include online milestone checklists, a child development training for WIC staff, online participant education modules (WICHealth.org, WIC-ed.com, and WICSmart), developmental milestone content on the WICShopper App, and social media posts, which are all available below.

During Year 5 Extension (August 2023-July 2024), ASPHN will be working with 4 states (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Dakota) to provide funding and technical assistance in order to implement developmental monitoring into a few clinics in each state.

Year 5 Report DM In WIC Goes Virtual Infographic

Check out our WIC Developmental Monitoring Project Newsletters for the goings on and latest developments!

2024  |  2023  |  2022  |  2021  | 2020  |  2019

Participating States

The WIC Developmental Monitoring Project consists of 4 Intensive (funded) States and 21 Technical Assistance (TA) state WIC programs participating in the Year 5 Extension. ASPHN’s Intensive States include: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, and North Dakota. The Technical Assistance States include:

Delaware, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia

Educational Resources For Developmental Monitoring in WIC

ASPHN has created and compiled several educational resources for WIC staff on the various aspect of Learn the Signs. Act Early.

CHILD DEVELOPMENT LEARNING MODULE

These English and Spanish online learning modules introduce the CDC’s free resources to WIC staff in order to engage and educate families about their children’s development. In the course, WIC staff learn about developmental milestones, why monitoring children’s development is important, how to empower parents, and how to support families through referrals for screenings and other services.

English Spanish

ONLINE EDUCATION MODULES FOR WIC PARTICIPANTS

Developmental Milestones online education modules for WIC participants have been developed by a task force created by ASPHN. They are available in both English and Spanish on WIChealth.org, WICSmart, WIC-ed.com and ONE by Nutrition Matters. If your state uses one of these online education platforms, simply contact them to see a preview and have it added.

Promotional Flyer

DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES CONTENT ON WICSHOPPER APP

ASPHN partnered with JPMA (WICShopper) to create developmental milestones educational content for WIC participants. JPMA has developed a Developmental Milestones Button and Banner. Any state that uses WICShopper can add these. Contact JPMA to see a preview and have it added. Information includes:

  • What developmental milestones are
  • How to download CDC’s FREE Milestone Tracker App
  • What to do when there is a concern
  • Positive parenting tips, and more.

Implementation Resources for the DM Program in WIC

CDC’s ONLINE MILESTONE CHECKLISTS

CDC’s online milestone checklists are available on the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” website. WIC staff can encourage WIC participants to fill out the online checklist prior to their next appointment and email it to your WIC clinic, where you can then review it with them.

CHECKLIST

CHECKLIST PROGRAM CLINIC TRAINING POWER POINT

This presentation offers an overview of Learn the Signs. Act Early. including how and why the program was established, where you can find and use the resources, and how you can incorporate it into your WIC clinics.

Power Point

CDC’s ONLINE IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE

This guide includes information on what developmental monitoring is and why it’s important. It reviews the 3 components of the WIC Model, including environmental graphics, administering the checklists, and making a referral. It will help you know what and how to track your success. There are implementation tools and templates available in this guide. CDC has also recently added virtual options for promoting developmental monitoring in WIC.

Guide

WIC DEVELOPMENTAL MONITORING EVALUATION PROJECT SUMMARY REPORT

This summary provides a high-level look at the activities of this project and lessons learned that can be shared with WIC agencies who are considering how best to track and report developmental monitoring activities. Tracking a few key developmental monitoring measures can help WIC agencies know if developmental monitoring is occurring with participants as intended and ensure children are being referred for additional supports when warranted. It also gives agencies information to help them improve their processes to make the checklist program work best for families and staff.

Report

ASPHN’S SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

These 2021 sample social media posts and accompanying graphics are designed to promote developmental monitoring in WIC.

Sample Posts

UPCOMING WEBINARS

ASPHN HOLDS MONTHLY WEBINARS to provide technical assistance to the Learn the Signs. Act Early participating states.

  • Every month on the 4th Wednesday at 11AM ET

This resource is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of cooperative agreement number NU38OT000279-02. The specific project funded through this cooperative agreement “Replication of the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” WIC Model” totals $250,000 with 100 percent funded by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities/CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

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