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Early Childhood Intervention

What is Early Childhood Intervention?

Early intervention (EI) services are designed for children between birth and three-years-old. 

In Minnesota early childhood intervention services are provided through the public school system under the umbrella of Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). Your child may qualify for services if they are experiencing delays in their development, including special health conditions. The Rochester Public Schools can provide services to help foster development and growth of your child's skills in cognition, fine and gross motor, social-emotional, adaptive, and speech/language development. Services are provided for children from birth through age six who are found to be eligible through formal evaluation.

Services for eligible children ages birth to age three are provided in their natural environment.  These settings are unique to each family and might include the home, child care and other community settings.  Parent education is also a part of the individualized plan of services for children ages birth to three. Services for children ages three through six are provided in a school setting, typically preschool and/or kindergarten.

Entrance into early intervention (EI) services begins with a developmental evaluation. This evaluation documents a child’s skills in a variety of areas such as cognition, motor, social-emotional, language-communication, and/or adaptive (self-help) development. There are also certain conditions and medical diagnoses that automatically qualify a child for EI services if they are known to have a high probability of resulting in developmental delay even if the child is not currently demonstrating a need.

In Minnesota, early intervention services are provided through the public school system under the umbrella of Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). Districts within the state of MN often refer to these services as the Help Me Grow Program.


What happens after the referral is made?

A school district assessment team reviews the referrals and meets with parents to discuss the evaluation process. Upon receiving written consent, the evaluation is conducted to determine if the child meets the eligibility requirements for EI services. If the child is eligible, a service coordinator (typically a teacher with a license in Early Childhood Special Education) is assigned to work with the family. Depending on the child’s needs, additional service providers may be included in the child’s team. The team members may include a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, county public health nurse or social worker, vision or hearing specialist, or other providers. Parents are also a very important part of their child’s team.


What happens next?

After a child is determined eligible through the completion of an assessment, the team, which includes the parents, will meet to identify goals and develop an individualized plan of services to support the child (called an Individual Family Service Plan or IFSP).

Services for eligible children ages birth to age three are provided in their natural environment. These settings are unique to each family and might include the home, child care and other community settings. Parent education is also a part of the individualized plan of services for children in the EI program.

Services for children ages three through six are provided in a school setting, typically preschool and/or kindergarten. See information on the right column about ECSE.

 

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