What are Developmental Milestones and How Do We Utilize Them? | Celebree School

For the first time in almost 20 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their developmental milestones for children. Whats different? And how does Celebree utilize the milestones in our curriculum? Keep reading to find out!

What’s new with the developmental milestones?

In 2004, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) created age specific milestone checklists as a way for parents to recognize the warning signs of developmental delays and signs of autism in a child’s early life. The checklists are broken down into learning domains, such as social-emotional, language development and physical development with observable milestones inside each domain. 

These milestone checklists were recently revised in 2022, largely in response to COVID, as well as the social and emotional developmental delays parents feared would arise from social distancing. In addition to parental concerns, the milestones were revised in order to support the growing belief in the Early Childhood Education community that children should be screened more frequently than the commonly recognized screening ages (i.e. 3 months, 6 months and 12 months).

Now, not only does the updated milestone checklist screen at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, etc., but it also includes two brand new milestones for the much needed 15 month and 30-month age groups. According to the Academy of Pediatrics article from March 2022 (Volume 149, Issue 3, “Evidence Informed Milestones for Developmental Surveillance Tools”) shifting the expected age of development and adding two new age groups resulted in, “1 in 6 children with developmental delays have been shown to improve outcomes.”

The new milestone checklist is also more developmentally appropriate and largely focuses on language and social development, both of which are strong development indicators.

So, how does Celebree use the CDC milestones?

At Celebree, we use the CDC Milestones to assist families in identification of developmental delays early to ensure proper and timely interventions. These critical interventions have been proven to greatly increase a child’s success in life, socially, emotionally, physically, and/or cognitively. Our teachers use these milestones to kick start dialogue and help build trusting relationships between the teacher and families where both parties can express concerns and come together as advocates with the overall goal being growth and future milestone accomplishments for the child. 

Families can expect to review their child’s development every 6 months with their child’s teacher during Family Teacher Conferences. These conferences occur in early December and early June and include observations and assessments that lead the teachers to complete robust milestone checklists and have a full understanding of each child’s development. Informal conferences can be requested at any time by either the family or the teacher, if either party feels an immediate discussion is warranted. 

Celebree’s goal is to be a partner and advocate for each child’s unique developmental growth and assist families with external resources and experts that will assist the family in growing each child to their fullest potential. 

Want more information about early childhood development and education? Check out our parent resourceseducation guides, and early education videos! We have tons of resources to help you set up your child for lifelong success.