Evaluation of the Edmonton and Area Preschool Development Screening Initiative

Principal Investigator: Rebecca Gokiert
Research Team: Winnie Chow and Jeff Bisanz
Funder: Alberta Health Services, Capital Region
Duration: 2007-2009

The Mill Woods Preschool Developmental Screening Initiative was aimed at building capacity among families and service providers to support healthy early child development. This initiative was a collaboration of nine partners working across health, children's services, and education with the aim of maximizing resources to increase access to screening, intervention, and services for families.

The initiative was evaluated to:

  • Generate insight into ways to improve the project's delivery and effectiveness and share project successes for the benefit of other regional developmental screening projects.
  • Critically assess whether the activities undertaken by the project are effective in bringing about desired short-term outcomes.

The evaluation took place in the culturally-diverse neighborhood of Mill Woods in Edmonton. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ ®) was administered to 18 and 36 month-old children. After the questionnaire was completed, families were given information about early childhood development and educational opportunities. When needed, families were given intervention support that connected them with existing community resources and professionals.

Major Accomplishments

  • 2,300 children were screened in 2008/09, compared to approximately 80 children who were screened annually before the project was initiated
  • 100% of families received community resource information
  • 88% of parents reported increased knowledge of early childhood development as a result of completing the ASQ®
  • Cultural adaptations of screening tools, materials, and workshops were developed to address cultural diversity

Read the Report