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Intervention Program FAQs

What is Early Childhood Intervention?

Sometimes babies are born with a condition or special need that affects their development. Other times a condition is not apparent at birth, but over time parents and doctors begin to wonder if the child is developing appropriately. Early Childhood Intervention means finding specific ways to help a child become as functional as possible.

To begin, a child’s developmental abilities are evaluated. Once evaluated, the child can receive the appropriate therapy – or other type of early intervention – he or she needs.

In some situations, the therapy a child receives at an early age enables that child to reach developmental milestones on target or close to target. In other words, early intervention can sometimes help a child “catch up” to peers.

How does New Jersey’s Early Intervention System work?

Early intervention services are designed to address a problem or delay in development as early as possible. The services are available for infants and toddlers up to age three. Public and private agencies serve as Early Intervention Program providers (EIPs) and arrange for early intervention practitioners to address the needs of eligible children and their families. Following the evaluation and assessment, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed to describe the services that are needed by the child and family and how they will be implemented. Services are provided by qualified practitioners in natural environments, settings in which children without special needs ordinarily participate and that are most comfortable and convenient for the family such as: home, a community agency, or child care setting.

Early intervention recognizes and respects the important and central role of the family in their child’s life. The purpose of early intervention is to promote the child and family’s ability to meet developmental outcomes, chosen by the family and outlined in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

Should I have my child evaluated?

Every child is an individual and develops or meets developmental milestones at a different rate.  However, there are certain skills that are expected based on a child’s age. Please refer to the developmental milestone link below and if you are still concerned contact your health care provider or the New Jersey Early Intervention Systems.


What should you do if you believe an infant or toddler isn’t growing or developing as s/he should?


Seek help early. The first three years of life are important, formative years in maximizing a child’s future potential. If you suspect that an infant or toddler may be experiencing developmental delays, the referral is made by calling the Regional System Point of Entry toll free number at 1-888-653-4463 and following the menu directions based on the county in which the child (or family) lives.

How does early intervention support my child and family?

Early intervention recognizes and respects the important and central role of your family in your child’s life. We support families in their care giving roles and want to help your family continue in your daily activities while caring for your child. Our goal is to work with you in providing early intervention supports to you and your child.

All of us are better than one of us, which means that when working with infants, toddlers, and their families, no single individual, discipline, or agency can meet the many needs of each child. But together with you, your family, early intervention providers, service coordinators and other community agencies, we can work as a team to meet your child and family’s needs and support your child’s development.

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