Early Start

California Early Start is a federally funded program through Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The program is designed to ensure that eligible infants and toddlers and their families receive evaluation and assessment of their current functioning, and coordinated services early enough to make a difference in development.

Early intervention services are planned and delivered to help prevent or lessen the need for special services later in the child’s life. The goal is to help answer questions and concerns about each child’s development and to assure that infants and toddlers (ages 0-3 years) meet their highest potential.

Early intervention involves the prompt identification of delays and risk factors and the provision of assistance to eliminate or minimize problems resulting from them. Early intervention services are designed to meet the developmental needs of each eligible infant or toddler and the needs of the family related to their development.

There are a wide range of possible services available. These may include: medical diagnosis and evaluation; physical, occupational and speech therapy; special education instruction; social services, counseling and home visits.

The San Diego Regional Center provides service coordination, evaluations to determine eligibility and Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) development.

The IFSP is a family-focused, outcome-oriented plan written to address the infant/toddler’s developmental needs and family concerns.

Early Start Resources:

1) Take a Minute-Relationships Matter- social and emotional development describes the ability to experience and express feelings, for relationships, and explore the world. Read more.

2) Early Start Transition: A Guide for Parents – English and Spanish

3) Special Education for Preschoolers: A Guide for Parents – English and Spanish

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