Early Support for Infants and Toddlers
We know that every child is unique and special. Sometimes our children grow and develop just fine. Other times we feel concern about their development in one or more ways.
If you have concerns, your child and family may be able to access services to help. About 1 of every 8 children has a challenge with development that makes them eligible for Birth-to-Three services.
With early support, most children catch up with their peers! Families gain skills and knowledge to support their child’s needs.
- Help your family build knowledge and skills to meet developmental and health needs of your child.
- Give your family a chance to meet other families, for support, and to discuss problems and share information and resources;
- Help your family with the practical and emotional challenges that may come with having a child with special needs;
- Help your family access community resources, services and events;
- Support your family as your child transitions into other community based programs.
- Family Resources Coordinator
- Assessments—Both Initially and Ongoing
The MOST FREQUENT services include:
- Developmental Services—Individual Education;
- Speech Therapy;
- Motor Therapy—Occupational or Physical Therapy;
- Feeding Therapy and Nutrition Services
OTHER Services are also available:
- Assistive technology devices & services
- Family training, counseling, and home visits
- Health services, Nursing services, Medical services for evaluating or diagnosing (most Birth-to-Three Providers do NOT diagnose children)
- Psychological services
- Social work services
- Vision services
A child may be eligible for Birth-to-Three services in one of these ways:
- Compared to same-age peers, child has a 25% delay in at least one developmental area; or
- The child has a diagnosis with a high probability of delay; or
- Evaluators use Informed Clinical Opinion.
Learn more about eligibility for services at the Department of Early Learning website.
To apply for services:
- You refer a child to services.
- A Provider will contact the parents to schedule a Developmental Evaluation to determine eligibility.
- If eligible, you will have an Initial Team Meeting. At this meeting, you will make a plan for services, called an Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP).
- Birth-to-Three services will begin within 30 days of completing the IFSP.
Through Birth-to-Three services:
- Children catch up with their development and reach their potentials;
- Many children will not need Special Education later;
- Smoother transitions for children who still need services at age 3;
- Families learn how to support the unique needs of their child;
- Parents strengthen advocacy and communication of their children’s needs;
- Siblings are welcomed, included and supported;
- Child care providers improve how they support children’s development.