Check It Out

An Integrated Community-Based Approach to Early Child Development, Health, and Wellbeing

Check It Out is an interdisciplinary multi-sectoral partnership that offers children 0 - 4 years-old and their families' access to screening in 12 areas of health. It allows for a holistic and malleable approach to screening intended to meet the needs of various populations and communities.

Vision:

Children will reach their optimal level of health and are ready to learn at school entry.

Goal:

Increase the number of children who have access to comprehensive health and development screening and referrals prior to school entry.

Objectives:

  1. Children 0 - 4 years will have equitable access to 12 health and development screening areas.
  2. Children with identified concerns will be referred to specialized services, community and government programs in a timely manner and receive follow up.
  3. Families will receive key messages related to the 12 health domains for screening and take away resources and support to linking with community services.

3 Key Components

  1. Partnerships:
    1. With families: Through one to one connections with professionals, trust is established and partnerships are formed.
    2. Across Sectors and with Professionals: Working in partnership is a key approach in population-based health promotion. It enables shared responsibility, the efficient use of limited resources and encourages innovative approaches that fit with the community's unique needs.
  2. Health Areas
  3. 12 screening areas address the child's health, development and wellbeing using the social determinants of health lens.

    Expert practitioners advised on each health area of this guide providing valuable input reflective of current practices, ideals and evidence informed content for each area. This ensures standard, valid and consistent messages to be shared with all families who attend a Check It Out.

  4. Referral and Follow Up
  5. Families meet with professionals who guide them through screenings in the twelve health areas. The professionals make appropriate referrals for the child and/or family based on the outcomes of their discussion and screening tools.

    Follow up is an integral component of the Check It Out Approach. A professional from the coordinating agency will contact all families attending Check It Out who require additional services within a month after screening. This is a unique practice as it reinforces and emphasizes the importance of follow up to assist families in accessing community programs and specialized services.

Check It Out Visual

Check It Out visual

Check It Out Toolkit

A comprehensive toolkit has been developed to inform the practices of delivering early child health and developmental screening in a community. It consists of a:

  • Manual/Online Document: highlights the Check It Out Approach, key components, and is a step by step guide to effective practices for planning and implementing a screening day. An Implementation section highlights the various ways to offer the Check It Out Screening Day to support with equitability, accessibility and feasibility for the coordinating agency, professionals, and families. Effective Practices are shared to support with consistency and continuity of screening days across communities.
  • Professionals Guide: supports and informs professional regarding screening tools, key messages and resources to provide to families.
  • Pool of Professionals: a template to be populated with professionals who will offer screenings in kind for your local Check It Out.
  • Resources and Templates: support coordinating agencies, collaborating professionals and some can be shared with parents/caregivers.

For more information please contact please contact CITYKIDS@mothercraft.org.