Critical elements of school readiness for young children include achieving physical, social, and emotional developmental milestones and failure to achieve certain milestones could indicate a developmental delay. Screening for developmental delay can take place in a number of venues. Given that a large proportion of young children in Mississippi are in some form of licensed out of home care, child care centers provide an optimal setting for conducting developmental screening. However, there are currently no universally accepted standards or regulations for how childcare centers should screen children for developmental delays.
To better understand the status of developmental screenings in Mississippi child care centers, a survey of child care center administrators was conducted between January and March 2018 by the Family and Children Research Unit via the Wolfgang Frese Survey Research Laboratory at MSU's Social Science Research Center. The total sampling frame included 1,533 licensed child care centers as drawn from the American Academy of Pediatrics database of child care facilities and the Mississippi Department of Health's Child Care Licensure Database. Data collection was conducted using a census approach in lieu of sampling. The survey response rate was 52% (n=791).