Back to top

Evaluating Use of Family Navigation in Child Care Settings

Statement of Problem

Developmental delays and behavioral challenges are often first identified among children between the ages of 1 and 5 years old. It is estimated that about 10-12% of children experience some degree of delays or behavior problems and are often referred to services by their child care providers as a result. Though early identification and intervention is crucial to prevent adverse outcomes, research has shown that only 50% of children access relevant services, and many children are lost in the gap between referral and initiation of behavioral health and early intervention services. 

Navigation—providing care guidance and facilitating connections to health services—has proven to be one effective way to increase access to behavioral health for adults and has been piloted for young children in primary care settings. Research exploring the use of navigation for families in child care settings is limited.  


Next Steps

With this project we hope to build evidence that a family navigation intervention increases the percentage of children who gain access to needed early intervention and/or behavioral health services. Findings from our study will be disseminated to partners and collaborators in Pennsylvania to inform strategies used by child care centers, early intervention and behavioral health entities to optimize access to services for all children. 

This page was last updated in July 2023.

Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Evaluating Use of Family Navigation in Child Care Settings [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: plug in date accessed here]. 

More projects from Evidence-based Prevention, Screening & Treatment View More Projects

More projects from Early Childhood View More Projects