Font Size   Increase   Subtract   

Early Start

Early Start Programs provide developmental monitoring, coordination and services to children (from 0 to 3 years of age). A baby or young child may be considered eligible if one or more of the following is present:

Developmental delay in one or more of the following five areas:

  • Cognitive
  • Social/Emotional
  • Physical
  • Adaptive
  • Communication

Conditions that are known to potentially result in developmental delay or disability.

Early Start Programs are designed to ensure that eligible infants, toddlers and their families receive support early enough to enhance the child’s development and lessen the need for special services later in his/her life. These programs can include:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Specialized Infant/Toddler Center-Based Program
  • In-Home Child Development Programs


When a child in Early Start turns 2.6 years of age, families are notified that the child may be eligible for special education and related services. The Early Start service coordinator then makes a referral to the Local Education Agency (LEA) to begin the transition process. Around age 2.9 years, the regional center, LEA and family hold an IFSP/IEP meeting to develop the transition plan to pre-school services.