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Early Childhood Initiatives

Celebrating Children’s Development & Improving Early Identification

Working to get children and families the services and support they need by addressing the needs of parents, parents-to-be, infants, and young children; and focusing on parent leadership development

What are the NJ Early Childhood Initiatives?

CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” (LTSAE) Ambassador

LTSAE improves early identification of children with developmental delays and disabilities by promoting parent-engaged developmental monitoring and facilitating early action on concerns, so children and families can get the services and support they need.

State Parent Lead for Help Me Grow (HMG)/Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) CoIIN

HMG/ECCS is an early childhood systems integration initiative, working closely with state and local early childhood stakeholders ensuring a unified and coordinated approach to addressing the needs of pregnant women, infants and young children and their families. State Parent Lead provides support for parent leadership development.

Home Visiting (HV) CoIIN 2.0

HV CoIIN 2.0 aims to increase family access to Developmental Promotion, Early Detection and Linkage to Services along with a focus on developing parent leadership in Continuous Quality Improvement. State Parent Lead provides support for parent leadership development.

What is LTSAE?

LTSAE is a health education campaign that promotes:

  • Awareness of developmental milestones;
  • The importance of tracking milestones and acting early on concerns; and
  • The availability of free checklists, children’s books, a mobile app, and other resources.

LTSAE Ambassador collaborates with early childhood programs in the state to advance developmental monitoring and early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, including autism, so young children and families can get the services and support they need as early as possible. LTSAE Ambassador’s developmental health promotion activities are aligned with HMG/ECCS CoIIN and HV CoIIN 2.0 initiatives. Parent Leadership development is a focus across all the Early Childhood Initiatives – parent leaders are being and supported to participate and lead on all levels and to serve as Developmental Health Promotion Champions in their communities.


Resources & Materials

Act Early Resilience Toolkit

Building resilience, or the ability to endure and grow from adversity, involves strengthening knowledge of parenting and child development, social connections and networks of support, and the social and emotional competence of children. The Learn the Signs. Act Early Resilience Toolkit provides resources for supporting the developmental health and resiliency of children ages 3-5 and their families.


“Learn the Signs. Act Early.”  |  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” website

CDC’s Act Early Materials Catalog

Milestone Brochure: Track Your Child’s Developmental Milestones (Customized for NJ) |  This resource provides parents with an introduction to the importance of monitoring early developmental milestones. It covers a few key milestones from age 6-months to 4 years, and provides information about what to do if parents are concerned about their child’s development.  Brochures that reflect a customized version for NJ are available in English and Spanish. These are particularly helpful for families because they contain the direct contact information for NJ resources to ensure connections to services and supports.

“Early Identification of Developmental Concerns in Young Children”  |  March 2019 Exceptional Parents magazine article discusses developmental health promotion, and developmental monitoring and screening

The Next Steps When Developmental Concerns are Identified  |  County-specific and Statewide Flowcharts

Child Developmental Passport: English / Spanish  |  A tool that parents can use along with the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Milestones Moments booklet to track their child’s health, wellness, and development.

CDC/VROOM Poster  | This new Milestones Matter poster from CDC and Vroom highlights the importance of tracking a child’s development and using brain-building tips to add learning to everyday moments. English PDF  | Spanish PDF

“Concerned About Your Child’s Development?” in ASL | The CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program has released a new video resource in American Sign Language (ASL) to help increase the accessibility of messaging for ASL communities and families.

Noteworthy Newsletter  |  A quarterly electronic newsletter intended to provide a very brief introduction to a specific resource in each of the following areas:

Monitoring Child Development and Developmental Milestones. Helping children cope with stress, Parent self-care, Staying Healthy, Reading Corner (shared in collaboration with the NJ Reach out and Read program) that shares a brief message with families about the benefit of reading with their children. We also highlight a book that might be appropriate for families to read together. December 2020 Newsletter  |  February 2021 Newsletter  |  June 2021 Newsletter | March 2022 Newsletter


Building Resilience: Resources to Help Families Grow from Challenging Times – January 2021 Exceptional Parent Magazine article describes each protective factor of the Strengthening Families approach and provides resources to support building resilience through crisis and change from sources including CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” materials, Zero to Three strategies and materials, and resources from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center. EP Guide Article

CDC’s Act Early Response to COVID-19 Resources List to Help Build Resilience 

Parent  Engagement Cards  |  Parent Engagement Cards are based on New Jersey’s Birth to Three Early Learning Standards ( They were developed by the New Jersey Coalition of Infant/Toddler Educators in collaboration with the New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health, the New Jersey Council for Young Children, and the SPAN Parent Advocacy Network.

Contact Us


Deepa Srinivasavaradan

Director of Early Childhood Initiatives

(609) 665-2696

LTSAE Ambassador program is a collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control & prevention (CDC), Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP).

State Parent Lead for NJ HMG/ECCS CoIIN/HV CoIIN 2.0 is funded by the Office of Early Childhood Services, NJ Department of Children & Families to support Parent Leadership development across the initiatives.