National, state, and local research, policy and advocacy to improve the lives of kids

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Developmental Screenings Infographic


Pediatricians recommend that all kids should receive routine developmental screenings to identify any potential developmental delays, according to the Bright Futures periodicity schedule from the American Academy of Pediatrics, 


About 1 in 3 kids (36.3%) in Medi-Cal are receiving timely developmental screenings, according to 2015 data from the Department of Health Care Services’ “Developmental Screening Focus Study Results,”


California’s screening rates are worsening, dropping from 30th in 2012 to 43rd in 2016 the rate of young children who received developmental screenings, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health data from “Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health,”


Ways that state leaders can improve developmental screening rates in Medi-Cal include: monitor and publicly report developmental screenings data; prioritize developmental screenings in quality improvement initiatives; provide supports, trainings, & incentives to health providers on developmental screenings; and ensure appropriate referrals  and access to early intervention services following developmental screenings, which are described more in the 2018 issue brief “Developmental Screenings for Young Children in Medicaid and CHIP” and a forthcoming advocates toolkit from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families,


More resources and information on developmental screenings in California can be found at and