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Advocacy Tip: Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Services

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Services

ECI is a statewide program for families with children ages 0-3 who have developmental delays and/or disabilities. ECI provides evaluations and assessments, at no cost to families, in order to determine eligibility and the need for services.

Services ECI Provides

ECI supports families by helping their children reach their potential through developmental services that include:

Individualized Planning Process: An interdisciplinary team, including the family, develops an individualized family service plan (IFSP) and the location for services is chosen by the family.

Family Centered Services: ECI professionals and family members incorporate activities into the child and family’s daily activities to promote the child’s development

Case Management: Service coordinators help families access and receive the services and resources they need to support their child’s development.

Familiar Settings: Though most ECI services are provided at home, they can be provided in other places the child regularly visits such as a daycare, park, or library.

Professional providers: The team that evaluates the child and plans services includes early intervention specialists, speech and language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, registered nurses, dietitians, social workers, and counselors.


What is an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)?

When a child qualifies for ECI services, an IFSP is created outlining specific goals, objectives, and services to be provided. The IFSP is a coordination of services through ECI that are family-centered and based on the child's strengths. The IFSP should include:

  • A statement of the child’s current level of development.
  • A family assessment which includes the family’s resources and concerns.
  • A statement of outcomes expected for the child and family, including how and when they will be achieved.
  • A statement of what services will be provided and in what environment they will occur.
  • A statement of when services will begin, how often they will be provided, and how long they will continue.
  • A plan for transitions as the child’s needs change.



During home visits, advocates can get a good assessment on the child’s developmental abilities by engaging in age appropriate activities with them, such as doing puzzles or coloring. Advocates should also communicate with the child’s caregiver to see if they have any concerns regarding the child’s developmental progress. If you suspect your CASA child has a developmental delay, inform your CASA supervisor and contact the CPS caseworker to request that an ECI assessment be completed. The CPS caseworker will submit the referral in order to set up the assessment. If the child qualifies for ECI services, obtain a copy of the IFSP so you know what services the child will be receiving and how often. Advocates can then follow up with service providers at ECI and the caregiver to ensure the child is receiving the services as outlined and is meeting goals. Advocates can also obtain copies of the service notes for every visit which depicting what activities were done with the child and how the child is progressing with services.

1. True or False. ECI provides services for children ages 0-6.

2. What are the two of the services ECI offers to familes?

3. Explain the purpose of an IFSP and how you as an advocate can make an impact by obtaining a copy.


To receive 1 hour worth of training credit, read the above article and submit answers to the accompanying training questions to Anna Munoz at