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For Immediate Release

CVS Caremark and Easter Seals Help Make the First Five Years of Life Count for Kids

New Free Online Screening Tool Helps Parents Determine if Kids are on Track

Chicago, March 19, 2012

Media Contact:
Kristen Barnfield, Easter Seals
P: 312. 551. 7147

Joanne Dwyer, CVS Caremark
P: 401.770.4517

According to the National Survey of Children’s Health 2007, one in five households with children has a child with a special health care need and could benefit from screening and services, yet less than 20 percent of children under the age of 5 receive a developmental screening.  Easter Seals, through the generous support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, is now making it possible for parents and caregivers to easily track their children’s’ development through age 5 by means of a free online screening tool.

Traditionally used by clinicians, therapists, professionals, and educators, Brookes Publishing’s Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ)® is now available to parents and caregivers on Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count website (http://www.makethefirstfivecount.org/) to monitor child development and identify potential issues so that any concerns can be readily addressed to make sure they are on track and ready to enter school.

“We are very proud that the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is able to support Easter Seals as they strive to get all kids screened – as early as possible,” says Eileen Howard Boone, Vice President, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “With this online screening tool we hope every parent will take the opportunity to screen their child and take the actions needed to help them be the best that they can be.”

Timing is Everything

The first five years of life really count – the years of learning that shape kids’ futures.  Yet every year, more than one million children with unidentified delays and disabilities enter school with learning and health issues that put them far behind their peers and have a lasting, negative effect on their ability to meet their full potential.

“The online tools are an effective first step toward identifying if a child could benefit from early intervention services, “says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals.  “Easter Seals is thrilled to be making the industry-standard child development screening tool available to parents, for free and online for the very first time.”

About CVS Caremark All Kids Can

CVS Caremark All Kids Can™, a program of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and supported by CVS Caremark, is a commitment to making life easier for children with disabilities. Through this signature program, CVS Caremark and the Trust will support nonprofit organizations that provide innovative programs and services in local communities focused on helping children with disabilities learn, play and succeed in life. CVS Caremark selected Easter Seals as a national partner in All Kids Can when the program was introduced in 2006.  Since that time, the company, its foundation and its associates have contributed more than $11.5 million to support Easter Seals services in local communities nationwide. To learn more about the CVS Caremark All Kids Can Program and its support of Easter Seals, visit www.cvsallkidscan.com/partners/easter-seals.

About Easter Seals

Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs.  For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count is designed to give children at risk of developmental delays, disabilities or autism the right support they need to be school-ready and build a foundation for a lifetime of learning. Learn more at http://www.makethefirstfivecount.org/ and www.easterseals.com.

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