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Early Intervention/ Early Childhood

Early Intervention ensures that families have access to developmental professionals who can offer guidance, intervention, and support in a way that encourages growth and development in young children, while supporting the natural family structure and in-home routine and preferences.

Early Intervention aims to help children between the ages of birth to three with disabilities or delays to learn and grow. Following a referral from a family member or educator, a child will be evaluated for eligibility. If a child shows signs of developmental delays, they will work with EI providers to develop a plan of support. When infants and toddlers need early intervention services, you may hear the term IFSP. IFSP stands for Individualized Family Service Plan. An IFSP is a written legal document that lays out the supports and services children with developmental delays may need to continue to progress developmentally. 

An IFSP outlines a plan for families about what is needed to help children with developmental delays grow and learn. An IFSP takes into account kids’ present level of functioning and needs. Young children develop skills quickly, and it’s key for family members to be fully involved in supporting development.

Illinois Early Intervention (EI) Program services end when a child turns 3. When your child turns 2½ years old, your EI service coordinator will ask you to sign a consent form. Your consent is needed to release information about your child to your local school district. This begins the referral process. You can accept or decline the referral. We encourage you to explore the resources on this page and reach out with questions or concerns.

Early Childhood Special Education services for children three through five years of age and their families are provided through local school districts and special education cooperatives. AT FMPTIC, we strongly encourage families to seek inclusive Early Childhood programming, whether that be in local childcare centers, preschools, or school-based programs. Want to learn more? Check out Early Choices:

Information directly quoted from To read the full article, find it here.