ECI services are unique for the following reasons:
Individualized Planning Process: Once eligibility is determined, an interdisciplinary team, which includes the family, develops an individualized family service plan. The services in the plan are provided in a location chosen by the family.
Family-Centered Services: Services are based on the needs and concerns of each family and child. ECI professionals and family members incorporate activities into the child and family’s daily activities to promote the child’s development. Parents and Professionals work together as a team. Families know their child best. The team develops a plan for services and assesses the child’s progress.
Case Management: Service coordinators help families access and receive the services, resources, and supports they need to support their child’s development. Supports include helping the child and family transition to special education services as appropriate for children exiting ECI at age 3. ECI programs provide comprehensive case management for all members of the child’s family as their needs relate to the child’s growth and development.
Familiar Settings: Though most ECI services are provided at home, they can be provided in other places where the child goes regularly (e.g., a childcare center, park, library, or other community setting).
Professional Providers: The team that evaluates the child and plans services includes licensed or credentialed early intervention specialists, speech and language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, registered nurses, dietitians, social workers, and counselors.
Plans for Continuing Services: ECI services end when the child turns three. Well before that time, the ECI team, including the family, decides on next steps. Children may transition to public school, preschool, Head Start, childcare centers, or other community activities and programs or they may stay home with their family. For those children who need further intervention services, the goal is a smooth transition with no service gaps.
Families of all income levels receive ECI services. There is not income limit. No family is turned away because of an inability to pay. The following services are provided at no cost to the family regardless of income:
- Development of the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)
- Case Management
- Translation and interpreter services
Families with children enrolled in Medicaid, do not pay for any ECI services. Other families may pay a cost share based on family size and adjusted income after allowable deductions. Examples of other services:
- Audiology and Vision Services
- Nursing and Nutrition Services
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech-language Therapy
- Specialized Skills Training
- Family Education & Training
- Assistive Technology & Services