Early Childhood Screening
For almost a decade the Kathy Wilson Foundation has been engaged in community outreach to offer free developmental and social-emotional screening using the highly-regarded “Ages and Stages” parent questionnaire. In the early days of this initiative we screened children “in-person” at local health and community fairs, library story hours, and monthly ALIVE food distribution events. Even before the pandemic arrived, we were moving towards the use of digital platforms for parents and caregivers to access, whether from home on their child’s program’s website, or on-site with a trained interviewer. Fortunately the Ages and Stages Developmental and Social-Emotional questionnaires are available in multiple languages and can be readily completed by familiar adults in about 15 or 20 minutes. Should there be developmental concerns, these can be explored further in follow-up consultation and/or referral to early intervention services by the child’s program. The digital screening project has been enormously successful in both numbers of children screened as well as in helping parents support their child’s healthy development. The Kathy Wilson Foundation continues to provide funding and technical support for ASQ screening at over 25 early intervention and early childhood programs, both public and private, in Alexandria. Through these mission-based relationships, over 3,000 children have been screened with many receiving the critical support they need from community intervention agencies. The Foundation’s goal in the years ahead is universal screening access to every early childhood family in Alexandria.
Since our inception the Foundation has provided a variety of needs-based grants and awards to local early childhood programs to assist them with providing high-quality inclusive early childhood experiences for all children - well over $100,000! In 2023 and 2024 we are offering one-time open-ended awards that early childhood programs may use where needed most, allowing individual directors to channel the funding where needed most. Eligible programs are those who currently offer (or commit to offering) regular early childhood developmental screening with funding provided by the Kathy Wilson Foundation.
The Foundation has been a valued partner to various non-profit and City agencies for many years. From funding educational supplies and materials for ACPS preschoolers during the pandemic, to providing Learn and Playgroup start-up funds to the Center for Alexandria’s Children (CAC), to fundraising sponsorships with the CAC and the Campagna Center to underwriting the City’s Early Childhood Division’s initial purchase of developmental screening tools, we quietly help fill gaps in funding that align with our mission.