Developmental Screening and Referral

While screening rates in Colorado are among the top three nationally and are higher than the national average (49.9% v. 31.1%, respectively), early intervention and preschool special education data show that only five percent of Colorado children ages 0-5 are currently receiving developmental services. Colorado currently lacks the ability to track, in aggregate, critical interim measures between screening and services, such as the percent of children who receive and do not pass the screen, as well as the percent who are referred for further assessment based on the screening results.

To increase the percent of children in Colorado receiving age-appropriate developmental screening, Maternal and Child Health staff at CDPHE are focused on the following two strategies: a) identifying and implementing policy and systems changes that improve developmental screening, referral, and services and b) supporting individualized technical assistance to local communities on best practices in early childhood developmental screening, referral, and intervention services. CDPHE contracts with Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD), a statewide nonprofit focused on improving the lives of Colorado children through early identification of developmental needs. ABCD are experts on implementing best practices in screening and referral systems to support implementing our strategies. Please click the links below to learn more.

Information for families

  • Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) - A statewide nonprofit focused on improving the lives of Colorado children through early identification of developmental needs and the state program lead for Healthy Steps, which is the only program of its kind that places a child development specialist within a pediatric primary care team.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Learn the Signs. Act Early.

  • Child Find for Children Birth to Age 5 - Child Find is part of Colorado's system for identifying children suspected of having a delay in development. If a young child is not meeting typical developmental milestones, or someone is concerned about the child’s growth or learning, child find teams will evaluate how the child plays, learns, speaks, behaves and moves. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if there is a significant delay or if there is a need for early intervention or special education services. Evaluations conducted by Child Find teams are at no cost to parents.

  • Early Intervention Colorado for Infants, Toddlers &, Families - A program that provides supports and services to children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families from birth until the child’s third birthday. Early Intervention Colorado can help families learn ways to support and promote their child’s development within their everyday routines and activities.