The Early Intervention (EI) program is a voluntary and confidential program that provides support services to children from birth to 3 years of age who have, or are at risk of having, a developmental disability.
Early Childhood Associate’s EI program offers a full array of evaluations and services designed to maximize the full potential of each child. Parents and family members are encouraged to participate in partnership with the interventionist team to enhance their child's development.
Our success is contingent upon early identification and the provision of services to children with special needs at the earliest possible age. Early Childhood Associates is committed to early identification followed by quality care.
Early Childhood Associates is an approved evaluation site and can provide a complete evaluation for children who are suspected of having a delay, disability, or not meeting developmental milestones. This can also include difficulty with communication and language development, play skills, attention and focus or with delays with physical development.
We have Licensed Clinicians on board to administer speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy and developmental evaluations as recommended. The evaluation is completed within the home, with family members present to provide background information, as well as strengths and needs you see in your child. The evaluation process is very child friendly and all testing will be approached in a play based manner.
Early Childhood Associates currently provides home/community based special education, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work and nutrition services as well as initial and ongoing service coordination. Interventionists are licensed or certified in their field and have been approved to provide Early Intervention services by New York State.
Services are provided at no cost to the family of eligible children. Our EI program is funded and regulated by the New York State Department of Health and, in New York City, by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
How do I request an evaluation for my child?
Referrals can be made to Early Intervention for children birth to three years old who live in New York City and either have or are suspected of having a developmental delay or disability by calling 311. An evaluation would take place to find out if your child is eligible to receive services.
What can I expect during the evaluation process?
A service coordinator is assigned to each family after a referral is made. The service coordinator will explain the program, help you choose an evaluation agency and assist you throughout the entire process. Most evaluations are completed within a few weeks to determine if your child is eligible for services and will include a multidisciplinary evaluation by two or more professionals (an overall developmental assessment and at least one additional evaluation in the developmental area of concern).
Who is eligible for services?
Children are eligible for EI if they have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that often leads to developmental problems, or a developmental delay in at least one area of development (communication, social-emotional, adaptive, cognitive, and physical) that meets the criteria in NYS Department regulations. If the evaluation shows that your child is eligible for EI, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting will be held.
What is an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)?
At the IFSP meeting, your family works with a team including an evaluation representative, an Early Intervention Official Designee (EIOD) and your service coordinator to develop goals and decide what supports are needed to meet your child's developmental needs. The IFSP is a unique, written plan that is developed for your child and includes all the details about the services your child will receive. The EIOD works for the New York City Early Intervention Program and is responsible for making sure that eligible children have an IFSP and approves the types and frequency of services. The Early Intervention team will monitor your child’s progress and decide when to ask for a change in the service plan, as needed. Your service coordinator will ensure that your child is receiving the services in the IFSP and helps find resources in the community to address family priorities and concerns.
How are services provided?
Services can be provided in home/community settings or at a facility. EI uses a coaching approach in working with children and families. The interventionists will help you understand your child’s developmental needs and how you can support them throughout daily activities. Early Intervention services are provided at no direct cost to families. The program uses a child’s Medicaid and/or insurance (if available) to help pay for services.