About Early Intervention

New York State Early Intervention Program (EIP)

Return to Early Childhood Special Education

The Early Intervention Program is the federal program that delivers services to children and their families. In New York State, the EIP is coordinated by the Department of Health (DOH). In New York City, the EI lead agency is the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).

Eligible children are between the ages of birth and three years, with an identified developmental delay (behind in at least one area including physical, cognitive, communication, adaptive skills, and/or social/emotional development based on formal testing and assessment or confirmed diagnosis). Children may continue to receive EI services until their third birthday at which point, the child may transition to an appropriate special education program, if eligible.

Early Intervention services are provided only by Qualified Personnel: professionals who are licensed, certified or registered in their discipline and approved by the NYS Department of Health.

Get the list of qualified personnel, read more about the application process and learn more about the models of service delivery.

Early Intervention Services can include:

  • Evaluation services (including hearing and vision screening)
  • Home visits
  • Speech, physical and other therapies
  • Nursing and nutrition
  • Child development groups
  • Special instruction
  • Family counseling and parental support groups
  • Assistive technology and devices
  • Respite (temporary care for a child with disabilities)
  • Transportation

Early Intervention services are provided anywhere in the community, including

  • The child’s home
  • Early childhood programs and centers (including family day care homes)
  • Recreational centers, play groups, playgrounds, libraries, or any other natural environment in the community

Steps to Obtain Early Intervention Services

Download the "Early Intervention Steps" Map from NYS DOH

  1. The Referral:

    Parents, doctors, teachers or others suspect a developmental delay or disability in the young child and refer him or her to the Early Intervention Official in their county [List of county EIP offices], or may make referals via New York City's 311 system. The family is then informed of the Early Intervention Program, its purpose and benefits and an Initial Service coordinator is assigned to the case.

  2. The Initial Service Coordinator:

    Obtains relevant information from the family including medical and social histories, gives the family information about the program services and their rights as parents, helps the family find an evaluation site and collaborates with other city agencies serving the family. Read more about their role.

  3. The Evaluation:

    Is performed by an interdisciplinary team that determines the child’s eligibility for the program and the family’s needs and concerns. The information gathered is used to create the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

  4. The Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) design:

    The IFSP is a written statement developed by the team to meet the unique needs of the child identified during the evaluation. The IFSP must include the following information:

    • The child’s development levels
    • Family characteristics
    • Major outcomes expected to be achieved for the child and family
    • Services the child will be receiving
    • When and where the child will receive these services
    • Steps to be taken to support the transition of the child to another program
    • Name of the Service Coordinator assigned to the child and family
  5. The 6-Month IFSP Review:

    The IFSP team reviews the initial plan goals and expected outcomes and increases or minimizes services as needed.

  6. The Transition:

    When the child turns 3 years old, he or she will need to transition to other services such as Early Childhood Special Education programs in inclusion settings. The Early Intervention service provider helps the child and family take the necessary steps to obtain the new services and adjust to the new setting.

Get More Information about the NYS Early Intervention Program