With Preschools Closed, Is Your Child Still Meeting Developmental Milestones?

Happy girl

With children not returning to pre-school this year and without the input of teachers and other educational professionals, it's natural for parents to wonder about their child's development as we continue to endure the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, New Vista is able to provide some reassuring and valuable resources in this time of crisis.

Every child grows and develops at his or her own pace. How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves offers important clues about development. Comparing your child’s activities to those commonly seen in children the same age can help determine whether a child may need additional help.

Early intervention is key to helping children achieve their highest level of success. The First Steps program at New Vista offers early intervention, serving children from birth to age three who have a developmental delay or a condition that’s known to cause a delay.

Services are provided in the child’s natural environment, either at home, daycare or in the community. New Vista staff work with parents and caregivers to support them in continuing activities at home that will promote child development.

First Steps includes child evaluation specialists, who conduct initial screenings; service coordinators, who help families navigate the program; and speech, physical, and occupational therapists; developmental and behavioral interventionalists; deaf and hard of hearing as well as visually impaired teachers, psychologists and audiologists.

If you are concerned a child under the age of three is not meeting developmental milestones, you call New Vista First Steps at 859.271.9448 or 1.800.454.2764, New Vista First Steps is located at 343 Waller Avenue, Suite 201 in Lexington. Click here to visit our First Steps page.

Uncertain about developmental milestones?

The chart, below, provides information about developmental milestones during a child’s first three years. The chart is not all-inclusive. Therefore, if you have any concerns about your child’s development, talk with your child’s doctor or call New Vista First Steps.


Talk to your child’s doctor if

2 months

Baby doesn’t respond to loud sounds; doesn’t watch things as they move; doesn’t smile at people; doesn’t bring hands to mouth; can’t hold head up when pushing up from prone position

4 months

Baby doesn’t watch things as they move; doesn’t smile at people; can’t hold head steady; doesn’t coo or make sounds; doesn’t bring things to mouth; doesn’t push down with legs when feet are on a hard surface; has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions

6 months

Doesn’t try to get things that are in reach; shows no affection for caregivers; doesn’t respond to sounds; has difficulty getting things to mouth; doesn’t make vowel sounds; doesn’t roll over in either direction; doesn’t laugh or make squealing sounds; seems very stiff with tight muscles; seems very floppy, like a rag doll.

9 months

Doesn’t bear weight on legs with support; doesn’t sit with help; doesn’t babble; doesn’t play back-and-forth games; doesn’t respond to her name; doesn’t seem to recognize familiar people; doesn’t look where you point; doesn’t transfer toys from one hand to the other

1 year

Doesn’t crawl; can’t stand when supported; doesn’t search for things that he sees you hide; doesn’t say single words like mama or dada; doesn’t learn gestures like waving or shaking head; doesn’t point to things; loses skills she once had

18 months

Doesn’t point to show things to others; can’t walk; doesn’t know what familiar things are for; doesn’t copy others; doesn’t gain new words; doesn’t have at least six words; doesn’t notice or mind when a caregiver leaves or returns; loses skills he once had

2 years

Doesn’t use two-word phrases (drink milk); doesn’t know what to do with common items; doesn’t copy actions and words; doesn’t follow simple instructions; doesn’t walk steady; loses skills she once had

3 years

Falls down a lot or has trouble with stairs; drools or has unclear speech; can’t work simple toys such as peg boards, simple puzzles; doesn’t speak in sentences; doesn’t understand simple instructions; doesn’t play pretend or make-believe; doesn’t want to play with other children or toys; doesn’t make eye contact; loses skills she once had


New Vista assists individuals, children and families in the enhancement of their well-being through mental health, intellectual and developmental disability and substance abuse services. First Steps is a statewide early intervention program. State and federal funds help support First Steps. Families are assessed for their ability to pay. Medicaid, private insurance and household income sliding-fee scales are accepted.