1st Five Initiative

Iowa's 1st Five Initiative

1st Five / Healthy Mental Development

Iowa’s 1st Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative builds partnerships just-hand-logo small
between physician practices and public service providers to enhance high quality well-child care. 1st Five is a program that supports primary care providers in performing developmental surveillance and screening in children ages 0-5 years. When a developmental concern is identified, the providers may refer the child to 1st Five for care coordination and connection to local resources. The 1st Five care coordinator then follows up with the provider on the child’s status.

Early identification and intervention for developmental delays is crucial to children’s outcomes later in life. Children’s development is essential to school readiness and overall well-being. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that developmental surveillance be incorporated at every well child visit. In addition, standardized developmental screening tests should be administered regularly at the 9, 18, and 24 or 30 month visits (AAP Policy Statement 2006).

In Iowa, over 90% of children ages birth to five years are seen by a primary care provider, putting providers in key position to play an important role in supporting healthy development in children. Also, local 1st Five agencies are familiar with community resources and providers and help families to access the care that their child needs.

1st five Objectives

The four main objectives of 1st Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative are to:

  1. Increase the number of primary care providers who are using a standardized developmental screening tool to identify children who are at-risk or need low level interventions.
  2. Provide infrastructure building activities such as working with primary care providers and nurse managers on the implementation of developmental surveillance and screening.
  3. Educate EPSDT providers and other community providers to increase the knowledge of the importance of developmental screening and social determinants of health.
  4. Provide care coordination services to families and provide feedback on referrals to primary care providers.

Visit the 1st Five welcome page for more information for parents and professionals.