Getting an Early Start

The first few years of a child’s life are crucial years for learning and growing. Children at risk of a developmental delay or who have difficulties meeting significant milestones are often referred to Early Intervention for evaluation and services. Early detection and treatment are critical to the growth and well-being of all children, whether they have developmental delays or more complex medical needs. Early Intervention can be integral in helping pre-term babies grow, thrive, and meet their developmental milestones, and can produce substantial gains in physical, adaptive, cognitive, language and speech development and social emotional skills.

The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a public program for children under the age of three who are either suspected of having or at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. EIP is funded by New York State and county governments. Potentially eligible children must be referred to the Growing Up Healthy Hotline at 800-522-5006 or the program in the county where they reside. All EIP services are provided at no cost to parents. Health insurance may be used for approved services. When EI services are delivered in child care settings or community locations that require a fee, the parent is responsible for paying any costs associated with such settings or locations. A child’s eligibility for the program can be determined only by state-approved evaluators under contract. If eligible, the municipality will arrange for service providers to deliver authorized services. All services are identified with the parent and authorized by the county.