Assessing & Supporting Your Child's Development

During the first few years of life, babies and children experience rapid growth and change. Their physical, social, emotional and mental development is marked by major “milestones” that can help determine whether they’re developing at a typical rate.

It's normal for parents who are worried about a developmental delay in their baby or toddler to do research on the Internet, speak with friends, family and other parents, or maybe even visit a doctor.

Help is available if you think your child should be talking more, walking sooner or behaving differently. The earlier you get advice and support, the better. Often a child may only need a boost, or some extra help to reach those milestones. There are experts who can help you, including:

Public Health Units have nurses who can answer questions about development, conduct screening and make referrals.

Child Development Centres offer programs designed to support parents of babies and children in a family-centred environment. They can help with assessment and referrals to child development health professionals to assist children's growth, development and learning.

BC Early Years Centres are hubs of information – they know where to go, who to connect with and how to prepare for meetings with health professionals.

Family doctors are also a helpful resource who can help with assessing your child and make referrals to other health professionals, if necessary.

Assessment & Intervention

An assessment or evaluation may be needed to check your child's motor, language, cognitive, social and emotional development. It can help inform what types of treatment, resources or services will be helpful.

It's important to begin early intervention services if an assessment shows that your child has a developmental delay. Getting support that's tailored specially for them and their needs can help to prevent or reduce a disabling condition, especially in young children.

Support for Aboriginal Families

Parents or guardians of Aboriginal children can get help and advice from experts and health professionals who are Aboriginal or are part of the Aboriginal community.

Families are also invited to participate in activities that are culturally sensitive and meaningful – this includes home visits, playgroups, parenting support classes and groups, and connecting with other parents or families.

Learn more about support for young Aboriginal children:

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While You Wait for Diagnosis or Service

Science of Early Child Development

toddler smiling outdoors

The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) offers a suite of online media-rich resources from the latest research about the impact of early experience on lifelong health and well-being. 

Using the BC Site Access, this Canadian resource is now available to anyone situated in B.C.

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