Early Intervention for Children with Developmental Delays

What Is Early Intervention?

Early intervention in Pennsylvania is services and supports designed to help families with young children with developmental delays. Early intervention builds upon the natural learning that occurs in the child's early years. It is a process that promotes collaboration among parents, service providers, and others signficantly involved with your child. With your help, early intervention services and supports can enhance your child's development by

  • answering your questions about your child's development
  • assisting you to interact with your child throughout daily routines at home and in the community
  • enhancing your child's developmental and educational growth
  • supporting your child with developmental delays to become more independent
  • preventing the need for more and costly educational intervention in the future
  • supporting communities to become more aware of the gifts and abilities of all of its children.

There are two parts of early intervention in Philadelphia - the Infant Toddler Early Intervention for children birth to age three and the Preschool Early Intervention Program called "SEEDS" (Special Education for Early Developmental Success) for children ages three to the age of beginners.*

The early intervention system of services is provided under federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Part C of the IDEA provides the federal mandate for services for young children with special needs, from birth to three years of age. Part B of the IDEA provides the federal mandate for students with special needs, ages 3 to 21 years.

*Age of beginners is the minimum age that a child can attend first grade in his or her own school district. See glossary for terms often used in early intervention.