Rochester Collaboration with Schools and Health Providers

Medical professionals and educators use developmental screenings to determine whether children are learning basic skills at expected ages or experiencing significant developmental delays. When such delays go unrecognized, as happens far too often, families miss out on opportunities for early intervention and children are much less likely to enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed in school. Finding and screening children in their natural environments is intended to reduce stress for both children and families. The funding will help partners build capacity for entities already screening children and train child care center staff and teachers to implement the selected screenings with accuracy and consistency.

The funding will also be used to train early care and education staff to engage in effective communication with families. The training will include Tips for Talking with Families, with sample scripts and suggestions on what makes for successful reciprocal conversations, such as starting with the child's strengths, offering information on developmental milestones, discussing why developmental screening is important and having an open format that allows for ongoing questions and support when additional assessments or services are necessary.

The Strategy

With three other local funders, the City of Rochester, NY contributed to a joint developmental screening initiative. The investment of $789,000 will help launch a three-year pilot to increase vision, hearing and developmental screenings.

City Role
The city contributes funding to the initiative.

With the City of Rochester, Greater Rochester Health Foundation, the United Way, and the Rochester Area Community Foundation fund the initiative. The following partners help coordinate screenings and provide the trainings: Early Childhood Development Initiative, Rochester's Child, the Child Care Council, the Family Child Care Satellites of Greater Rochester, Family Resource Centers of Hillside, and the Early Childhood Education Quality Council.


One thousand more 3-year-olds will receive the services they need to support their learning, growth, and development. Early intervention treatment services, rather than waiting until a child enters school, can greatly improve a child's development. Developmental screenings also promote relationships between families and health care providers and promote healthy behavior and development. Finally, they provide the opportunity to talk with parents and families about their child's development and the important role that parents play in the early years. Ensuring that children are on track early, and involving parents and families in those conversations, will lead to greater school readiness at kindergarten and success beyond.

Contact Information

Institute for Youth, Education, and Families

Patricia Uttaro 
115 South Ave.
Rochester, NY 14604
Phone: 585 428-8045

Related Topics