Developmental monitoring should consider all relevant individual, family, and community factors that influence ECD and observe an individual child in the context. It should collaborate with the family and enable the child’s healthy development to be tracked as the child develops and grows. It consists of clinical interviews for identifying risk and protective factors, monitoring child’s functioning in all areas of development, and often using milestone checklists. Developmental milestones are a set of functional skills or age-specific tasks most children can do at a certain age range. Parents, early childhood providers, and other caregivers should participate in developmental monitoring. As part of the developmental monitoring process, health care workers elicit and attend to parents’ concerns and provide guidance on stimulation and nurturing care in the child’s natural environment. They should always focus on the child’s and family’s strengths and promote the concept of development as a continuum.
Effective monitoring should provide additional support for families and young children who experience risks to their development, as well as referral to a trained professional for assessment and an intervention plan for children with signs of developmental delay.