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1.7: Early Childhood Intervention Services

  • Page ID
    178787
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    Early intervention services incorporate education, health care, and social services and are provided to infants and toddlers (under age 3) who have a disability or are exhibiting developmental delays, as well as their families. Children who are considered at risk for developmental delays also receive early intervention services. A child may be considered at risk if they are experiencing homelessness, have a primary caregiver who abuses drugs or alcohol, have a primary caregiver who is diagnosed with a chronic illness or psychological disorder, or are a victim of abuse or neglect.

    Children who receive early intervention services have an individualized family service plan (IFSP) supervised by a state appointed case manager. Unlike the IEP, the IFSP also includes services for the child’s family (e.g., counseling). IFSPs must also be developed by a multidisciplinary team and should include the following:

    • A description of the child’s gross motor skills, fine motor skills, speech and language, cognitive and intellectual development, and social and emotional development.
    • An assessment of the family and their needs as they relate to supporting the child’s development.
    • A description of the goals or outcomes expected for the child and the family.
    • A description of the early intervention services required.
    • Procedures for measuring progress, including timelines, objectives, and evaluation procedures.
    • A description of the environments in which the early intervention services will be provided.
    • A transition plan from to a preschool program after age 3.

    Special education and related services are also provided to children in preschool (ages 3 to 5). In preschool, an IEP will replace the IFSP (Smiley et al., 2022).


    Smiley, L. R., Richards, S.B., & Taylor, R. (2022). Exceptional students: Preparing teachers for the 21st century (4th ed.). McGraw Hill.


    This page titled 1.7: Early Childhood Intervention Services is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Diana Zaleski (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI)) .