Early intervention is important to a child’s development. Research shows that a child’s first three years are the most important time for learning. When you know that your infant or toddler could benefit from an early intervention program, how do you pick the right provider?
It is important to find a service provider that can meet the needs of your child and your family. You should feel comfortable talking to the provider. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
· Is the provider a Part C provider? If so, Part C may pay for your therapy if your insurance doesn’t. (To learn more, contact your local Early Steps Program for an appointment to determine eligibility.)
· Does my insurance company have a preferred provider I must use to qualify for payment of services?
· How far away is the facility?
· Will the provider come to my house or my child's day care center?
· What are the provider's qualifications? Is he or she licensed? Does he or she have any special certifications in pediatric therapy, early intervention, child development, etc.?
· Is the facility clean and well-maintained?
· Does the provider have experience with other children like mine? What kind of success has he or she enjoyed?
· How does the provider include me and my child in the treatment plan?
· How will the provider participate in my child's family support plan or individual education plan?
· Is my family invited to participate in the intervention sessions?
· How is family education and support provided?
· What happens when my child turns 3 years old?
· How does the provider interact with my service coordinator and the local early intervention program?
Early Steps, available through Easterseals of Northeast Central Florida, is a statewide system of early intervention services for families with infants and toddlers (ages 0 – 3) who are not reaching age-appropriate milestones.
With a focus on helping children reach their full potential in how they live, learn and play, Early Steps providers teach parents and other caregivers ways to improve child development through everyday routines. The Early Steps program is professionally managed by a program director, a manager, multiple family service coordinators and two family resource specialists. Early Steps covers Volusia, Flagler, Lake, Sumter, and Putnam Counties.
Contact one of Early Steps’ four convenient locations in Northeast Central Florida:
· Early Steps North Beaches (Daytona Beach) -- 386-873-0365
· Early Steps DeLand -- 386-873-3658
· Early Steps Bunnell -- 386-254-1248
· Early Steps Lake, Sumter, Putnam (Leesburg) -- 352-323-0612
Assistance through programs such as Early Steps helps children proceed on the right path as they learn and develop. Easterseals is proud to partner with parents and caregivers of young children to help ensure youngsters reach their full potential. Visit the local Early Steps website to learn more.
They may not present themselves with ground tremors or baby-powder breezes, but August and September are the busiest months for births.
Did you know that Easterseals offers direct services to little ones ages birth to 3 years and their families? The program is Early Steps North Beaches, and it’s part of a statewide system of early intervention services for families with infants and toddlers who are not reaching age-appropriate milestones.
Early Steps is a Florida Department of Health program overseen locally by Easterseals of Northeast Central Florida. Within the program is Early Steps North Beaches, which serves Volusia, Flagler, Lake, Sumter, and Putnam county families. Annually, more than 2,500 children ages birth to 3 years are referred to Early Steps North Beaches by hospitals, physicians, community agencies and even parents themselves.
Easterseals staff and volunteers operate the program in multiple locations and positions, to include service coordinators, speech therapists, development specialist and administrative management and support. At Early Steps, early intervention is provided to support families and caregivers to empower them to help their children learn developmentally appropriate skills where they live learn and play. Thus, most Early Steps interventions are home visits.
The purpose of Early Steps North Beach is to ensure that families of children with disabilities are equipped to enhance the development of their children within their everyday routines, activities and places.
Early Steps North Beaches is funded by federal resources made available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and is used after Medicaid, private insurance and third-party funds have been applied. Evaluation of prospective families includes an examination of the child’s physical domains, cognitive abilities, gross and fine-motor skills, communication abilities, social and emotional development and self-help skills.
Interested in learning more about Early Steps North Beaches? Those with questions about Early Steps and caregivers are seeking an evaluation for their child can contact one of the Early Steps office below for a referral and to set up an evaluation appointment. Evaluations are provided at no cost to families.
Early Steps North Beaches
1673 Mason Ave., Ste 100
Daytona Beach, FL 32117
Early Steps DeLand
156 McGregor Road
DeLand, FL 32720
Early Steps Bunnell
301 Justice Lane
Bunnell, FL 32110
Early Steps Lake, Sumter, Putnam
1300 Citizens Blvd., Suite 300
Leesburg, FL 34748