Why Monitor Development in WIC?

WIC staff are a valuable resource to parents. They look to you for information about their child, and they trust you.

Developmental Monitoring in WIC Helps Children and Families

Indian Mother and Daughter
  • WIC staff are likely to encounter children with developmental disabilities because those disabilities are common—affecting about 1 in 6 children—even if they are not always readily apparent.
  • Children with nutritional risk factors are at increased risk of developmental delay and need close monitoring. Early identification can open the door to services and support that can help the child gain skills and help parents better support their child’s needs.
  • Nutrition and development go hand-in-hand. Tuning in to their child’s development can help parents be more responsive to and supportive of their baby’s feeding cues, boost parents’ feeding confidence, and lead to positive feeding interactions.
  • WIC staff can benefit from the tools and resources provided by this program when talking with parents about their child’s development, especially when parents raise a developmental concern.
  • Making referrals for potential developmental delay supports the WIC framework of monitoring children’s growth and development and making referrals to community resources.
  • WIC staff have reported that this program engages parents, educates and empowers staff members, and leads to completed doctor referrals.