Early Childhood

Connecticut Family Screening, Tracking and Referral Systems (STARS)

Happy multiracial family at home with two young children in casual portrait on their couch

OSEP Model Demonstration Project - Developing Identification, Screening, Referral and Tracking Systems for Infants and Toddlers

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funded the Model Demonstration Project to develop identification, screening, referral, and tracking systems for infants and toddlers.

The purpose of the project is to build state and community capacity to develop, demonstrate, evaluate, and replicate an interagency system to track, identify, screen, refer or monitor infants and toddlers at risk for, or having a delay or disability in Connecticut.

Connecticut has procedures in place to screen and refer infants and toddlers for further developmental evaluation, but there are gaps in referral and tracking systems, especially for underrepresented families and children. The model will be developed and implemented in year 1-2 in Hartford, Connecticut, and then replicated in two communities. Evaluation will focus on system and child/family outcomes.

Model Elements

  • Implement integrated data system across state systems for tracking and screening children from birth, or system entry.
  • Use Ages and Stages Questionnaire to identify and monitor children’s development using a mobile app called Sparkler (and other options for families).
  • Parent to Parent outreach to increase parent/caregiver participation in the tracking, identification, screening, referral or monitoring, and evaluation of services for their child.

Project Stakeholders

State Stakeholders:

  • Office of Early Childhood
    • Part C  (Early Intervention)
    • Head Start
    • Home Visiting 
    • Help Me Grow CT
    • Sparkler Learning
    • Family Child Care Homes
    • Child Care Centers
  • State Department of Education 
  • CT 211 Child Development Infoline
  • State Department of Social Services 
  • State Department of Public Health
  • CT Data Collaborative
  • CT Parent Advocacy Center
  • Path Parent to Parent
  • African Caribbean American Parents of Children with Disabilities, Inc. (AFCAMP) 

Local Stakeholders: (Demonstration Site-Hartford)

  • Hartford Mayor’s Office of Early Childhood
  • Birth to Three Agencies
  • Harford Public Schools
  • Head Start
  • School Readiness Programs
  • Family Child Care Homes
  • Child Care Centers
  • Community Health Centers
  • Primary Health Care Providers
  • City of Hartford Health and Human Services Agency
  • City of Hartford Department of Families, Children, Youth, & Recreation
  • City of Hartford North End Ascend Pipeline
  • CT Children’s Medical Center: Care Coordination
  • Hartford Data Collaborative