The new Roadmap for Advancing Family-Engaged Developmental Monitoring is designed to build a foundational understanding of what family-engaged developmental monitoring is, how programs can utilize it, and how it fits into an overall framework of children’s healthy development and family well-being.

Download the Roadmap


The Roadmap is a product of the Coordinated and Integrated Data Systems for Early Identification (CIDSEI) project. CIDSEI aimed to explore and enhance the capacity of states and territories to improve the collection, management, interpretation, and dissemination of data related to developmental progress and early identification of young children with developmental delays or disabilities.

Why do we need a Roadmap for Family-Engaged Developmental Monitoring?

A landscape scan conducted as part of the CIDSEI project found that while many early childhood programs and systems provide services to support early identification of delays and disorders, their focus is on screening, referral, and receipt of early intervention services.

In the research literature there is a lack of information on developmental monitoring when compared to screening and one reason may be that screening, referral, and linkage activities are better defined than the activities associated with developmental monitoring. The landscape scan also indicated there is also a lack of shared understanding of developmental monitoring, as well as no universal strategies to employ its associated activities, and no standard metric for measuring those activities or their impact.

To address this gap, the Roadmap aims to establish:

  • What family-engaged developmental monitoring is
  • What family-engaged developmental monitoring looks like in practice
  • Why family-engaged developmental monitoring is important for child and family outcomes


What is Family-Engaged Developmental Monitoring?

FEDM is defined as an intentional partnership of families and providers working to highlight a child’s developmental progress and identify opportunities for support and education for positive outcomes. The three essential attributes of FEDM include:

  • Families are regarded as the expert on their child’s development
  • Information is gathered to inform a holistic approach to the child’s development
  • Developmental progress and needs are discussed over time

Family-engaged developmental monitoring establishes a shared understanding of best practice across the early childhood field and the families it serves. Inclusion of “family-engaged” in the terminology centers families as experts about their child and equal partners in the process.