DRIVE is a groundbreaking initiative for achieving universal child development screening for young children. This year, we expanded the program to serve more families.
DRIVE uses an innovative model of teaching parents to screen children in their community for developmental concerns. The model allows them to reach parents of young children who are not in formal preschool or other early childhood educational settings. It also provides a pathway for parents of children at risk of developmental delays to access available services. Ultimately, the network of screeners provide data that can influence city and state-wide conversations about early education needs.
This year, data provided by DRIVE screening showed that many children in our region may struggle with gross motor skills. The data helped one agency apply for and receive funds to build a new playground.
Since its launch, Nearly 6,000 screens have been completed for children living in and/or attending childcare programs in Greater Boston. This year, the program expanded to agencies in Lawrence, Lowell and Chelsea, and in 2018, there are plans to expand to other cities, scale the program in Boston and enhance current tools.