Health Care Providers
The Importance of Early Development
You play a vital role in laying the foundation for strong brain development from the start.
As a health care provider, you know the importance of early childhood development and brain growth. From surveillance and screenings to helping moms and dads survive and thrive in the early years, you’re on the front lines carrying out the mission to improve the health of Mississippi’s children. We want to make sure you have everything you need to make that happen.
Developmental Screening and Health Promotion Toolkit Using a Whole Child and Family Approach
A Pathway to Operationalize Bright Futures Early Childhood Guidelines
Health care providers who work with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers have a critical role to play in laying the foundation for early brain development, which has a lifelong effect on health and wellbeing. This toolkit offers practical resources for health care providers who are looking to incorporate recommended developmental screenings and provide comprehensive well child care services (WCC). Resources included can enhance the ways you equip parents and other caregivers to promote their children’s development.
Regular surveillance is still important in addition to screenings.
During all well-child visits, the AAP recommends surveillance (or monitoring) of developmental delays by:
Other helpful resources and tools related to child development data can be found at:
It is important to refer children right away if needed. They often don’t just “grow out of” delays.
The Mississippi Thrive! call line can help you connect families with the right support.
For children younger than three who need developmental services, start with First Steps Early Intervention Program through Mississippi State Department of Health. They can be reached at 1-800-451-3903 or by clicking here.
For children age three and older who need developmental services, link families to Child Find, which offers services and interventions for unique educational needs.
These services are available at no cost to families.
Find resources to share with families.
Teach families how to mark the milestones.
Plus get free materials for your office.
The CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” program offers free, evidence-based, parent-friendly resources to assist you with discussing developmental surveillance from age 2 months to 5 years. They’ll also provide your practice with free educational materials to share with others.
Contact Mississippi’s CDC Learn the Signs. Act Early. Ambassador for materials and training: Leslie LaVergne, Ph.D.; Director, Wellness Programs; MS Ambassador, CDC Learn the Signs. Act Early. The Institute for Disability Studies; The University of Southern Mississippi; 601-266-6225; Leslie.LaVergne@usm.edu.
Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Reach Out and Read provides support for pediatric teams, advises families about the importance of reading with their children, and shares books that serve as a catalyst for healthy childhood development. To learn how ROR is being used in Mississippi, contact us at MississippiThrive@gmail.com .