[ Ver esta página en español ]

Early Intervention: Information for Families

The goal of the Early Intervention Program is to help families help their children learn and develop. If your child is eligible for the program, we will assign a team to your child that will include teachers, therapists, a service coordinator and an Early Intervention Official Designee. Together, your team will develop a plan and identify services based on your concerns, priorities and resources. They will work with you to meet your child's and your family's goals.

You know your child best, so you will be an important part of your child’s progress. The more parents participate in services, the better the child’s outcome.

You should tell the team about:

  • Your child's interests and what they like and dislike
  • Strategies you think have helped your child learn
  • Everyday activities that you and your child find difficult, such as bathing and eating at recommended meal times
  • The most important improvements that you would like to see for your child

Learn how you can refer your child to the Early Intervention Program.

Services Delivered During Daily Routines

All of the information that you share with your child’s team will be used during visits. It will help you and your child's therapists choose the skills you want to work on with your child.

You and the therapists will figure out what you can do during mealtimes, bath times and other daily activities to help your child learn and develop. Your therapist will then work with you, your child and your family at home, at your child care center, or with your babysitter to help you learn how to help your child. This way, your child will work on new skills many times each day. Children learn best when they practice with the most important and familiar people in their lives during their everyday routines.

Your feedback and ideas about how well the strategies work between visits is important.

This way your child can reach their milestones and succeed during their daily activities through a family-centered approach called “Embedded Coaching”.

Text Message Updates and Tips for Families: Text 2 Families

The Text 2 Families service helps families get the most out of their experience in the Early Intervention Program. When you sign up, we will ask for some information so we can send you custom messages specific to your child’s experience. You will receive about four messages per month.

The service is free, but message and data rates may apply. Participation is voluntary and texts are confidential.

To sign up for Text 2 families, text “EI” to 55676. To stop receiving messages, text us “STOP”.

Questions or Concerns

If you have a question or concern about Early Intervention, contact your service coordinator, the program's regional office in your borough or our Office of Consumer Affairs.

Transitioning Children Out of the Early Intervention Program

Our program is for children ages birth to three years. Children may leave the program at any time. Around the time a child turns two, families and their Early Intervention team will start working on a plan for the family’s next steps after leaving our program.

Some children may be eligible for preschool special education services after they leave our program. These are provided by the Committee on Preschool Special Education through the Department of Education.

The Department of Education’s preschool special education services can support children ages three to five with disabilities or delays in development. These services are provided free of charge to families. Preschool services can help support a child’s learning, speech and language, physical development, social-emotional skills, and other areas. For more information, call the EI Transition Team helpline at 646-389-7171 or email EItoPreschool@schools.nyc.gov.

Additional Resources

More Information