Children grow and develop rapidly during their first three years of life. Although each child is special and grows and learns at his or her own pace, some children need extra help. This extra help is called Early Childhood Intervention or ECI.
The earlier a delay is identified and a child receives intervention the better the outcome. For this reason, it is important not to wait. ECI professionals coach families on developmental and therapy techniques in their child’s natural environment where they live, learn and play.
Anyone can refer a child to ECI. Give a child the gift that lasts a lifetime. Don’t wait.
What is Early Childhood Intervention?
Early Childhood Intervention or ECI is a statewide program for families with children, birth to three, with developmental delays or disabilities. ECI is state and federally funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, P.L. 108-446). Families and professionals work as a team to plan appropriate services based on the unique needs of the child and family.
Who is Eligible for ECI Services?
Children under the age of three years old are eligible if they have a developmental delay in any of the following areas: learning, movement, ability to talk, ability to understand and get along with others or who demonstrate atypical development such as abnormalities in behavior. Children with a medically diagnosed condition associated with developmental delay are also eligible for ECI services.
What services does ECI provide?
All ECI services are provided in the child’s natural environment where a child lives, learns, and plays, such as the home, daycare, community center, etc. or via telecommunications technology which is known as “Telehealth”.
Services may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Developmental Screenings and Evaluations
- Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy
- Specialized Skills Training
- Case Management
- Nutrition Services
- Vision Services
- Assistive Technology
- Audiology Services
- Family Education & Support Services
The changes babies and toddlers go through are made up of different skills, like walking and talking. These skills, or Developmental Milestones, usually happen by certain ages. Although each child is special and develops at his or her own pace, watching to see when your child reaches these milestones can help you know how your child is developing. Check your child’s developmental milestones.
How Do I Pay for ECI Services?
ECI asks families who can afford to do so, to share in the cost of services. The amount a family pays for ECI service is based on family size and income after allowable deductions. No child and family will be turned away because of an inability to pay. Those families receiving any Medicaid or federal assistance never pay for ECI services. Parents of children with Medicaid always receive ECI services at no cost. Detailed cost share information can be found in our Paying for ECI Services Brochure.