Early Intervention/Child Find

EarlyInterventionAs research has shown, the infant and toddler years are very important to a child’s growth and development.  The Early Intervention/Child Find Program is a statewide program that provides many different  types of early intervention services to identified infants and toddlers with a developmental delay or disability and their families.

The Niagara County Early Intervention/Child Find Program is part of the New York State Early Intervention Program, which is part of the national Early Intervention Program for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.  The Early Intervention/Child Find program (EI/CF) is an extension of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – Part C.  This program entitles infants and toddlers who have a developmental delay or disability to receive therapeutic services.  To be eligible for services, children must be under three (3) years of age and have a confirmed disability (such as Down syndrome) or an established developmental delay in one or more areas of development.  These areas include:  adaptive, cognitive, communication, physical (to include vision, hearing, feeding, swallowing) and social-emotional development.

Therapeutic and support services available to eligible infants and toddlers and their families are: 

Assistive technology devices and services;
Family training, counseling, home visits and parent support groups
Health services
Medical services only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes
Nursing services
Nutrition services
Occupational therapy
Physical therapy
Psychological services
Service coordination
Social work services
Special instruction
Speech-language pathology
Vision services
Transportation and related costs

New York Public Health Law requires provisions that govern the Early Intervention Program such as:

  • Local administration of the program by the Early Intervention Official (EIO) who is responsible for ensuring eligible children and families receive the services included in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) that is developed for the child and family.
  • Identification and referral of children at risk or suspected of disability by primary referral sources.  Referrals are received from a number of sources and include (but are not limited to): parents, pediatricians, family practice providers, health department staff, childcare centers, and other community agencies.
  • Periodic developmental screening and tracking of at-risk children.
  • Provision of service coordination services to eligible children and their families.
  • A multidisciplinary evaluation of children referred to the program, at no cost to families, to determine eligibility.
  • The development of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for eligible children and their families.
  • Provision of early intervention services as specified in the IFSP at no cost to families.
  • Delivery of services in natural settings in the community where peers are typically found to the maximum extent appropriate. Community settings can include:
    1. The family’s home
    2. A child care center or family day care home
    3. Recreational centers
    4. Play groups
    5. Playgrounds
    6. Libraries
    7. Early childhood programs and centers
Early Intervention/Child Find services are at no cost to eligible infants and toddlers and their families.  Niagara County Health Department is able to access private insurance and Medicaid for reimbursement as well as receive funding from the New York State Department of Health.

Niagara County Local Early Intervention Coordinating Council (LEICC) is an advisory committee to the Niagara County Early Intervention Program (EIP). The LEICC meets at least twice per year.

For Referrals to Early Intervention for Niagara County residents, please contact:   

Niagara County Department of Health - Early Intervention Program
Trott Access Center
1001 11th Street

Niagara  Falls,  New York 14301
Referral Number: (716) 278-1691 or (716) 278-8180

Fax the completed Referral Form to (716) 278-8288

The New York State Department of Health has produced a helpful booklet for parents: The Early Intervention Program: A Parent's Guide  

For information on how to become an approved New York State Early Intervention Service Provider click here, call (518)473-7016 or write to bei@health.state.ny.us

  Parent Rights 
  Steps to Transition 
  Early Intervention/Committee on Preschool Special Education Comparison 
  For More Information on Child Outcome Surveys Click Here

Links to our other programs:

PreschoolLogo (1)  CSHCN (3) Family-Resources-logo (1)