Child Health and Screening

Developmental Screenings

The Collaboration works to ensure that all children birth to five receive periodic developmental screenings and that all children who need assessment and services access them.

To achieve this, the Collaboration partners with, and trains, staff members at early childhood, pediatric, and community sites who are members of the Developmental Screening Project. They learn to administer developmental screenings, facilitate meaningful discussions with parents and families about screening results, and support families to follow up on meeting children’s needs arising from those screenings.

A “developmental screening” is a brief check that provides a snapshot of a child’s communication, motor, cognitive, self-help and social-emotional skills. A developmental screening can be completed by a doctor, a child care provider or other trained professional. A screening can determine whether a child’s development is appropriate for his or her age, and if a child’s development is on track, a developmental screening can help identify a child’s areas of strength. The child’s doctor or child care provider can help find ways to continue to support the child’s development.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors informally monitor children’s development at each well-child visit, and conduct formal screenings at the 9-, 18-, and 24- or 30-month visits. The Collaboration provides support to pediatric and family practice physicians and early childhood education and child care professionals to conduct developmental screenings of all children in their care. The Collaboration provides training and technical assistance to conduct two screenings twice per year:

Health and early learning professionals can find a collection of resources about early childhood special education, early intervention, the referral process, and local programs by visiting the Developmental Referral and Services Directory.

Hearing and Vision Screenings

Our Hearing and Vision Screening Technician administers screenings across centers in Oak Park and River Forest. In addition to screenings at preschools, we periodically hold community vision and hearing screening events to provide access to screening services for those children not yet enrolled in center-based childhood programming.

Why Regular Hearing and Vision Screenings Matter

Hearing and Vision Screening is a critical step in supporting children’s development. It is estimated that 10-15% of all preschoolers may have some form of vision impairment. While some pediatricians perform vision screenings as part of the well-child visit, others do not. Early identification of hearing loss may be of greater significance. At any given time, 15% of preschool-age children are believed to suffer from short-term hearing impairment, often due to chronic ear infections. Approximately 3% suffer from hearing loss.


Support a strong start and a bright future.

We champion high-quality early childhood care and learning experiences and support for families so all children develop their full potential.