CDC’s Act Early Initiative

The Act Early Initiative promotes collaboration among early childhood programs in states and territories so children with autism or other developmental disabilities can be identified early and get the services and support they and their families need.

Working with state, U.S. territory, and national partners, CDC aims to help improve early childhood systems by:

  • Enhancing collaborative efforts within each state and territory to improve screening and referral to early intervention services through Act Early regional summits.
  • Supporting Act Early Ambassadors to expand the program’s reach.
  • Supporting Act Early state teams with State Systems Grants to improve early identification of autism and other developmental disabilities.

CDC works with the Health Resources and Services AdministrationExternal (HRSA), Association of University Centers on DisabilitiesExternal (AUCD), Association of Maternal and Child Health ProgramsExternal (AMCHP), and state-level systems focused on advocacy, early intervention, public health, education, and health care to improve early identification of developmental delay.

Act Early Ambassadors logo

Act Early Ambassadors

Act Early Ambassadors expand the reach of the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program and support their respective state’s work toward improving early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, including autism.

Since 2011, professionals with medical, child development, developmental disability, special education, and early intervention expertise have been selected to

  • Serve as a state or territorial point-of-contact for the national “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program;
  • Support the work of Act Early Teams and other state/territorial or national initiatives to improve early identification of developmental delay and disability; and
  •  Promote the adoption and integration of “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” resources into systems that serve young children and their families.

See how Ambassadors and others across the nation are promoting early identification of delays and disabilities using LTSAE.

The Act Early Ambassadors project is a collaborative effort of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and AUCD.

Become an Act Early Ambassador: Recruiting in the winter of 2018

Act Early State Systems Grants

To build on the momentum from the collaborative Act Early state teamwork, with support from CDC, in 2010 AMCHP began funding small grants to states. These grants are designed to strengthen state and community systems for early identification and coordination of services for children with developmental disabilities.

Learn more about Act Early State Systems Grants »External