Developmental Screening-What Is It & RFP Save the Date!

Save the Date! The Best Starts Developmental Screening and Referral Pilot Projects RFP will open next Thursday, May 31, 2018. Is this funding opportunity the right fit for you? Read on to learn more about Developmental Screenings and Referrals. 

What is Developmental Screening?

Developmental and social-emotional screenings are a foundational element of well-being for young children from birth through five years. They are an important tool for building knowledge of child development for parents and child service providers and for understanding and celebrating developmental milestones. Further, early identification and access to services ensure that intervention is provided when the child’s developing brain is most capable of change.

Yet, screening children is only one step in supporting their developmental needs. Ensuring smooth referrals to services and supports is another critical component of promoting positive development. Families need warm hand-offs to culturally relevant providers who have capacity to support their unique needs. Therefore, it is essential for screeners have a diverse network of providers to refer to should families need additional developmental supports or services.

Sam’s Story

Sam was in an Early Head Start- Home Based program in Seattle and his home visitor noticed he was using less than 10 words consistently when he was almost 2 years old. He would point and grunt to communicate his needs, which was frustrating for Mom and other caregivers. After completing developmental screening tools brought by the Early Head Start home visitor, Mom could easily see that Sam was struggling in speech, though he was developmentally ahead in other areas. She agreed to have him evaluated and Sam qualified for Early Supports for Infants and Toddlers (birth to three) services. After a couple of months of home-based speech therapy, Sam started making more sounds and learned to use “please” and other requests in sign language and words when he wanted something. Sam is now imitating words, independently signing words like “please”, “more”, “all done”, and “open” and is on his way to using 2 word combinations! His temper tantrums have lessened in frequency as his vocabulary has grown. Mom is very proud of Sam and the progress he has made.

more sign
A toddler signing for “more.” Photo credit:

Best Starts Funding to Pilot Developmental Screening and Referral Programs

Best Start for Kids is working to implement a comprehensive system of universal developmental screening and referral in King County.  The system will meet the needs of all children birth to five years, as well as expectant parents and their families across communities, to be delivered through child/family/community systems.

Next Thursday, May 31, Best Starts for Kids will open a screening and referral RFP. The goal of this RFP is to fund several one-year projects to pilot new, expanding or evolving developmental screening and referral programs. The shared learnings from pilot projects will inform the King County Universal Developmental Screening Strategic Plan and implementation of future universal developmental screening and referral strategies. Stay tuned to our blog next Thursday for the live RFP!

Best Starts for Kids in Action: Developmental Screening “Train the Trainer”

ASQ Trainers April 2018 (002)
Participants of the Best Starts Train the Trainer ASQ training

In April, Best Starts hosted Brookes Publishing in Seattle to train 25 people as certified Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) trainers. We are continuing to build a cadre of local trainers in an effort to increase the number and quality of developmental screenings that families can access in King County. We currently have trainers facilitating in 9 different languages and working in a variety of roles, such as: doulas, Play & Learn group facilitators, home visitors, preschool teachers, community health workers, and more. Additional “train the trainer” opportunities will be available later this year and Best Starts will continue hosting monthly ASQ trainings for service providers.

If you are a service provider interested in getting trained on using the ASQ, ASQ online database, or becoming an ASQ trainer, please contact Best Starts Developmental Promotion Lead Juliette Escobar at

And don’t forget to keep an eye on the Best Starts blog for the Developmental Screening and Referral Pilot Project RFP!

Previous post
Next post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: