Implementation Checklist for WIC State Agencies

Use this checklist to make sure you have addressed the major steps to support your Developmental Milestone Checklist Program. It is essential to have all of your materials ready, your processes worked out, and your technical assistance in place before you begin recruiting clinics. To build anticipation and excitement, consider setting a specific “launch” date for all clinics to begin the project.


Recruit program champions at three levels and engage these champions to help establish your program.

  • State WIC Agency Champion: This would be someone who knows the WIC system in your state, is well-respected among WIC agency staff, can be enthusiastic about the Developmental Milestone Checklist Program, and has the capacity to help support initiating and sustaining the effort. (Perhaps it is the person reading this!)
  • Child Development Champion: This would most likely be a child development expert outside of WIC. Your state’s CDC Act Early Ambassador, IDEA Part C Coordinators, and local pediatricians make excellent champions.
  • Clinic Champions: Ideally, clinic leadership who is committed to implementing the program (this person should be identified as part of the enrollment process).


Making Referrals

  • Determine the best process for making and tracking a referral when needed for developmental concern.
  • Customize the back of the milestone checklist to appropriately support the referral process.
  • Develop any additional materials needed to support referrals, if needed.

Training Staff

  • Determine how staff will be trained initially, and on an ongoing basis (annual refresher, new staff, etc.), to implement the checklist program; use existing resources from CDC’s implementation guidance including CDC’s training video, your customized Deskside Reference Guide [176 KB, 2 Pages, 508], and any other materials you develop to support implementation.

Recruiting Agencies/Clinics

  • Use your best channels to announce the program to potential participants: meetings, newsletters, direct mailings, routine calls, your website, etc.
  • When enrolling clinics, ask each to identify a champion who can serve as the primary point of contact for that clinic’s participation. Remember that clinic champions can help support training and implementation.

Enrolling Clinics and Distributing Materials

Tracking Implementation

Technical Assistance

  • Identify processes and primary contact person(s) for providing technical assistance if needed.
  • Ensure that your State WIC Agency Champion has what they need to provide technical assistance.
  • Ensure that your Clinic Champions have what they need to implement the program in their clinics.
  • Make a plan for ongoing implementation support and for celebrating success.


State-Specific Guidance

  • Prepare any state-specific guidance, especially if guidance differs from the general guidance provided by CDC, and provide it to agencies and clinics.
  • Include guidance for training staff and data collection (who and how will this be collected).

Milestone Checklists

  • Obtain the customizable checklist files, available in English and Spanish, from CDC by contacting
  • Customize the checklists with your state WIC logo, local contact information, any specific referral guidance, and any local resources for families. Be sure that the back of the checklist is customized to reflect the referral process that you will recommend to clinics. CDC may be able to offer assistance with customizing the files; contact CDC at

Environmental Graphics

Other Support Materials

Consider whether any additional support materials may need to be produced, such as

  • Referral Form (in addition to the back of the checklist)
  • Laminated Deskside Reference Guide document (to support implementation “at-a-glance”)
  • “Toolkit” for each WIC staff administering the program, with color-coded folders to organize milestone checklists, the Deskside Reference Guide, handouts, and evaluation materials for easy access. These files can be stored together in a file drawer or in a plastic crate, binder, or expandable file folder if they will be used at more than one clinic site.

For additional support in developing or implementing your Developmental Milestone Checklist Program into WIC, contact CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. Program at