Developmental Screening

Developmental Screening 

A developmental screening is a formal process using a tool to see if a child is meeting developmental milestones. It is completed by a healthcare provider, parent educator, or early childhood professional in collaboration with parents/legal guardians. Developmental screenings provide an opportunity for parents to understand their child’s development and learning which can significantly reduce the possibility that the child will have an undetected developmental delay. For more information on developmental screenings from a parent/care giver perspective, check out our monitoring and screening page.

For more information about how there is a direct link between developmental screenings and preparing a child for school readiness check out:


The Link Between Developmental Milestones and School Readiness


Skills and abilities are developing rapidly during birth to Kindergarten entry. Developmental screenings are important for all children even if there are no concerns. The child’s healthcare provider, parent educator, or early childhood professional in collaboration with the parents/legal guardians can work together to provide resources and access to community or child-specific programs. To understand the steps that should be taken during a developmental screening check out the:


Developmental Screening Process for Children Birth to Kindergarten Entry


This webinar focuses on developmental screening to increase understanding of the purpose and benefits of developmental screening, recommended tools for developmental screening, and the screening process which includes step-by-step guidance, interpretation of scores, and how to make a referral for an evaluation. 

Developmental screenings are an important part of a coordinated effort between the Office of Childhood and early care and education professionals in the state of Missouri to support school readiness for children.


Understanding Developmental Screening Webinar


Early care and education professionals can explain what a developmental screening is and why it is so important to parents by using the:


Developmental Screening 101 Flyer


Recommended Tools

Developmental screening tools are designed for a variety of settings, ages, and purposes. Since children can be screened at varying ages, the tools and procedures to administer a developmental screening may differ. No single screening tool is equally effective for all ages or all areas of development.


Evidence-based screening tools that include information gathered from parents and early care and education professionals in a collaborative effort, can help support a child’s continued growth and development. Developmental Screening tools do not provide conclusive evidence of developmental delays and do not result in diagnoses but they assist in determining if a child needs further evaluation. The following screening tools for general development and social-emotional development are recommended for early care and education professionals to administer annually or more frequently according to the screening tool protocol.