The CDC Milestone Tracker app supports parents and caregivers track children’s developmental milestones from 2 months to 5 years. Developed as part of the ‘Learn the Signs. Act Early’ program, the app provides interactive milestone tracking checklists, flags potential developmental concerns, populates milestone summary reports, and shares tips and resources to support children’s development. The app can also support the work of healthcare professionals and early care and education providers. It is available in both English and Spanish and has over 1,500,000 downloads.
Active since January, 2017
Developer Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Technology utilized
0 – 5 years
- Target audience
ECD Focus areas
- Responsive caregiving Parents/caregiver’s ability to observe, understand, and respond to children’s cues appropriately.
- Health and nutrition Support for children’s physical and emotional health and access to diverse nutrient rich food. This also includes maternal health and nutrition including during pregnancy.
- Developmental milestones Skills and tasks children are able to perform during a certain age range.
- Early learning Opportunities for children to engage in activities that promote early literacy, numeracy, motor, and social-emotional skills.
How it works
The CDC Milestone Tracker app helps parents and caregivers track and support their child’s development across 4 developmental areas – social, language, movement and cognitive.
Once users download the app, select their preferred language, and enter the required information for their child’s profile (name, date of birth, sex, if child was born prematurely), the app will load the appropriate age-specific checklist to begin tracking the child’s development.Read more
The app has easily navigable sections which feature,
- interactive and illustrated checklists at different ages (2, 4, 6, 7, 12 and 18 months and then 2 to 5 years) where users can indicate developmental progress and insert notes, or browse upcoming milestones by age and area of development.
- a list of potential developmental concerns that, if selected, prompt the user to consult a doctor and provide a link to CDC resources with more information.
- a summary of the child’s developmental progress which can be easily shared with doctors and other care providers.
- tips and activities tailored to the child’s age to support their development
- upcoming appointments with the child’s doctor.
The app also has features to support tracking development of children born prematurely. Users can add profiles for multiple children and receive tailored content to match each child’s developmental stage. Users can also receive reminders and notifications about completing the checklist, upcoming appointments, and recommended developmental screenings or check-ups.
User engagement strategies
- Customized messages Sharing resources and content based on user needs (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, age of child). This also includes sharing personalized content based on short user assessments (e.g., activities shared based on child development assessments).
- Nudges and reminders Sharing messages to encourage users to take particular actions (e.g., appointment reminders, nudge to complete an activity).
- Network sharing Encouraging use of the tool simultaneously with a partner/alternate caregiver to create a shared experience or sharing tool resources and content with others through messages or social media.
- Key functions
Reach and relevance
1,500,000+As of March 2023.
- Country of origin
The tool is available for download globally.
The CDC promotes the app through paid promotional ads as well as through their own social media channels. In addition, the app is also promoted by Act Early Ambassadors who work with their respective states to expand the reach of the ‘Learn the Signs. Act Early’ program.
Technology and access
Users require a smartphone with access to the internet to download and use the app.
- Connectivity requirements
- Device types
- Cost model
Aggregate level data is collected through Adobe Analytics to monitor the app.
The Computing for Good program at the Georgia Institute of Technology contributed to the development of the app.