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Early Intervention

While all children grow and develop in unique ways, some children experience delays in their development. Children in Pennsylvania with developmental delays and disabilities benefit from a state supported collaboration among parents, service practitioners and others who work with young children. Pennsylvania's Early Intervention program provides support and services to families with children, from birth to age five, with developmental delays and disabilities. Early intervention builds upon the natural learning opportunities that occur within the daily routines of a child and their family.

Early Intervention:

  • Helps children with disabilities develop and learn to their fullest potential
  • Enhances each family's capacity to meet the developmental needs of their child in the settings where children would be if they did not have a disability
  • Respects the family's strengths, values, diversity and competencies and answers families' questions about their child's development.

Services such as parent education, support services, developmental therapies and other family-centered services that assist in child development may be included in a family's early intervention program. Services may be provided in the child's home, child care center, nursery school, play group, Head Start program, early childhood special education classroom or other settings familiar to the family. Early intervention supports and services are embedded in typical routines and activities, within the family, community and/or early care and education settings. Early intervention services are provided at no cost to families.

Parents who have questions about their child's development may contact the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288. The CONNECT Helpline assists families in locating resources and providing information regarding child development for children ages birth to age 5. In addition, CONNECT can assist parents by making a direct link to their county early intervention program or local preschool early intervention program.

To make a referral for early intervention, please call the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288 www.connectpa.net

State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC)

The SICC is a Governor appointed council that advises and assists the Departments of Health, Education and Welfare to ensure that a comprehensive delivery system of integrated early intervention programs and services is available in Pennsylvania to all eligible infants, toddlers and young children and their families. For more information visit the State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC)

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