Early Intervention Steps: A Parent's Basic Guide to the Early Intervention Program

Welcome to the Early Intervention Program

The New York State Early Intervention Program (EIP) is part of the nationwide EIP. It is for infants and toddlers under three years of age who may not be making progress like other children because of a developmental delay or disability. A disability means that a child has a diagnosed physical or mental condition that may lead to developmental problems. These include, but are not limited to, autism, Down syndrome, motor disorders, or vision and hearing problems. A developmental delay means a child is behind in some area of development, such as growth, learning and thinking, or communicating.

The first step is your child's referral to the EIP in the county where you live. All counties in New York State (NYS) and New York City have an EIP. Children who may need services must first be referred to the EIP. Parents can refer their own child to the EIP if they have a concern about their child's development. In NYS, certain professionals are required to refer children to the EIP if a developmental problem is suspected. After referral, your child will be evaluated by qualified professionals. Your county EIP or the New York City EIP will help you get services if your child is found to be eligible. Health insurance, including private insurance and Medicaid, may be used to pay for early intervention services. EIP services must be provided at no cost to you and will not affect your insurance coverage.

Early Intervention (EI) services can help you and your family:

  • Learn the best ways to care for your child;
  • Support and promote your child's development; and
  • Include your child in family and community activities.

Early Intervention services can be provided anywhere in the community where your child typically spends their day, including:

  • Your home;
  • Child care center or family day care home that your child attends;
  • Community/recreational centers, play groups, playgrounds, libraries, or any place parents and young children go for fun and support; and
  • Early childhood programs and centers, such as Early Head Start.