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​Early Intervention Services

Information for Parents and Families

While all children grow and develop in unique ways, some children experience delays in their development. Children in Pennsylvania with developmental delays and disabilities benefit from a state-supported collaboration among parents, service practitioners and others who work with young children needing special services. The Pennsylvania Early Intervention program provides support and services to families with children birth to age five with developmental delays and disabilities. Early Intervention builds upon the natural learning opportunities that occur within the daily routines of a child and their family.

Early Intervention:

    • Supports services and resources for children that enhance daily opportunities for learning provided in settings where a child would be if they did not have a developmental delay and disability.
    • Provides families' independence and competencies.
    • Respects families' strengths, values and diversity.

Early Intervention supports and services are designed to meet the developmental needs of children with a disability as well as the needs of the family related to enhancing the child's development in one or more of the following areas:

    • Physical development, including vision and hearing
    • Cognitive development
    • Communication development
    • Social or emotional development
    • Adaptive development

How do I receive information about Early Intervention Services or make a referral to Early Intervention?

Parents who have questions about their child's development may contact the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288. The CONNECT Helpline assists families in locating resources and providing information regarding child development for children ages birth to age five. In addition, CONNECT can assist parents by making a direct link to their county Early Intervention program or local preschool Early Intervention program.

What Children Are Eligible?

Children from birth to age five who have special needs due to developmental delays and disabilities are eligible to receive Early Intervention services.

What Services are Provided to Meet the Developmental Needs of a Child?

The services provided to children and their families differ based upon the individual needs and strengths of each child and the child's family. Services such as parent education, support services, developmental therapies and other family-centered services that assist in child development and may be included in a family's Early Intervention program.

Early Intervention promotes collaboration among parents, service providers and other important people in the child's life to enhance the child's development and support the needs of the family.

Where do Children and Their Families Receive Services?

Services may be provided in the child's home, child care center, nursery school, play group, Head Start program, early childhood special education classroom or other settings familiar to the family. Early Intervention provides supports and services in a variety of settings. Early Intervention supports and services are embedded in typical routines and activities, within the family, community and/or early care and education settings. This approach provides frequent, meaningful practice and skill-building opportunities.

What is the Cost for Services?

Early Intervention services are provided at no cost to families.

Resources for Families

Other Related Links

Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side of PA is a specialized parent support program that links families of infants and toddlers newly diagnosed with deafness or hearing loss throughout PA with trained and experienced Parent Guides. Parent Guides are other parents of children with deafness and hearing loss who provide unbiased information, emotional support and a perspective of optimism and hope on a shared journey. Services are free and confidential. Guide By Your Side is funded by the PA Department of Health.  For more information please call 800-360-7282 (In PA only) x 3908 or 717-541-4960 x 3908 or email

To make a referral for Early Intervention, please call the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288