As part of Transform Consulting Group’s series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities, the next federal program that is highlighted is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C). IDEA, Part C is designed to assist any child under the age of three who has a disability or significant delays in development. Part C is a $436 million dollar program administered by states for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or who have diagnosed physical or mental conditions with high probabilities of resulting in developmental delays. Approximately 350,000 children are served by the Part C program with the goal of ensuring that such children are ready for preschool and kindergarten.
Positive early experiences not only benefit children but also their families and communities:
- Services to young children who have, or are at risk for, developmental delays have been shown to positively impact health, language and communication, cognitive development and social/emotional development.
- Families benefit from early intervention by being able to better meet their children’s special needs from an early age and throughout their lives.
- Benefits to society include reducing economic burden through a decreased need for special education.
Each state has a lead agency to administer the program. To select a state, click here. Each state’s Part C program is accountable for delivering the early intervention services in accordance to the federal statute:
- Identify and represent the interests of state and territory infant and toddler early intervention programs at the national level;
- Develop and recommend models, standards, policies, and programs that promote quality services to eligible infants and toddlers and their families; and
- Strengthen current leadership and foster new leadership in early intervention programs at the local, state or territory, and national levels.
Indiana’s Early Intervention Program, Indiana First Steps, is administered by the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) with nine regional offices across the state. More information about the Indiana First Steps program can be found by clicking here. Transform Consulting Group has experience working with state and local organizations to apply for and implement federal programs in their community. Contact us today for a free consultation or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.