Component 2 – Administering Milestone Checklists

Developmental Milestone Checklists

Mom using checklist with baby 9 mo

Age-appropriate milestone checklists are an essential part of the Developmental Milestone Checklist Program for WIC. These checklists include the skills that most children develop by that age. They were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. Program, with milestones adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics’external icon Caring for Your Baby and Young Child and Bright Futures publications. They use parent-friendly language and helpful examples and have been well-received by parents of young children across the country.

The Developmental Milestone Checklist Program requires that parents are offered the opportunity to complete a developmental milestone checklist appropriate for the age of their child during WIC certification and mid-certification visits. In addition, checklists may be used any time a parent or WIC staff has a concern about a child’s development.

Checklists can be printed by the state, agency, or clinic and customized with your logo and contact information, specific referral guidance, and local resources for families. Including local contact information for referrals and services is very helpful to families. Request customizable files from ActEarly@cdc.gov.

View the checklists here. pdf icon[4 MB, 24 Pages, 508]

Checklist Content

Twelve checklists are available from ages 2 months to 5 years. All checklists are structured in the same way.


milestone checklist

The checklist includes

  • The checklist age at the top
  • A space to enter the child’s name, age, and the date of visit
  • A brief description of developmental milestones
  • A list of milestones under the heading “What Most Babies/Children Do at this Age,” organized by categories of development: social/emotional, language/communication, cognitive, and movement/physical development; this section is used to monitor the child’s progress and to educate parents about typical abilities at that age
  • At the bottom of the page are some open-ended questions and a place for parents to write in any additional concerns they might have about the child’s development