FAQ Early Intervention

What is Early Intervention?
Early intervention is a program of supports and services designed to help families who may have a child who is identified as having a special need. By law and at no cost to families, eligible children are ages birth through five years old who may have been diagnosed with an early childhood disability and/or developmental delay. A multidisciplinary evaluation will be completed by an early intervention team who consists of the parent, service coordinator and early intervention professional. If your child is found eligible for early intervention services, services will then be delivered within the child’s natural environment and within the family’s naturally occurring routines. For more information about early intervention services, visit the below resources and frequently asked questions by families!

What is the purpose of Early Intervention?
Early intervention is designed to support young children in gaining independence and becoming active participants within their communities during early childhood years, to prepare for future activities and educational programming.

What is a natural environment?
A child’s natural environment are places that the child and family may typically visit. These places may consist of the family’s home, community, park, playground, grocery store or local child care setting among other settings. By including the child in activities with typically developing peers, early intervention services are available to support young children in becoming active participants within their community.

Who will be involved my child’s Early Intervention services?
Early Intervention services are participation based, which means that the adult/caregiver will be actively involved in each session. By actively engaging the adults in each early intervention session, key early intervention skills and strategies will be shared by the early intervention service provider and later can be practiced by the parent/caregiver beyond the session.

What types of services does Early Intervention offer?
Early intervention offers services such as specially designed instruction, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work nutrition/dietary, speech and language pathology, psychological and behavioral supports, hearing and vision; in addition to access to resources and assistive technology.

How do I make an early intervention referral?
You can make a referral to early intervention by completing the attached forms or by directly calling the below numbers:
Infant/Toddler: Email – Birthto3EI@phila.gov Phone: (215) 685-4646 Fax: (215) 685-4638 (download referral form here)
Elwyn Preschool: Elwyn Seeds Intake – 215-823-5083 (download referral form here)

Resources:
Watch Me Grow! Brochure

Right to Early Intervention for Infants, Toddlers and their Families

Philadelphia County Infant/Toddler Early Intervention

Elwyn Seeds Preschool Early Intervention