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.