Every parent looks forward to their baby's first smile, first words, and first steps.  But what happens when a child is behind in reaching those milestones? Sometimes families start by asking a doctor, nurse, or a child care provider for an opinion. If you are worried that your child is not reaching milestones compared to other children of the same age, it might be time to complete the online referral form or call 1-800-EARLY-ON.  

Eligibility Determination

Early On is for eligible children who need supports and services because they have what is called a "developmental delay" and/or a diagnosed disability, also known as an established condition. Established conditions could include health conditions such as a cleft palate, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, hearing and/or vision loss, and mental health disorders.   

Having a developmental delay means it takes a child a little longer to learn basic skills. It may be in any of the following areas:

  • Self-help skills (feeding and dressing)
  • Cognitive skills (thinking, learning, and reasoning abilities)
  • Communication skills (making sounds, talking, listening, understanding)
  • Physical development (vision, hearing, movement, use of hands, crawling, walking, health)
  • Social-emotional development (feelings, getting along with others, relationships)

If your child is determined eligible for Early On, the next step in the process is the development of a plan, also known as the Individualized Family Service Plan.