Eligibility & Services

Does Your Child Need Early Intervention (EI)?

If you have a concern about your child’s development, the Early Intervention Program (EIP) can help by providing an evaluation of your child at no cost to you. The evaluation will identify your child’s strengths and needs and find out if your child is eligible for the EIP.

Skills like taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving "bye-bye" are called milestones. To find out if your child’s development is on track or if you should refer your child to the Early Intervention Program, learn more about the developmental milestones for your child’s age.

Who Can Be Referred to the NYC Early Intervention Program (EIP)?

Infants and toddlers who live in New York City, are from birth to three years old, and:

  • have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that is likely to result in a developmental delay; or
  • are suspected of having a developmental delay or disability

These infants and toddlers will receive an evaluation to find out if they are eligible for the EIP. Children must be found eligible in order to receive services.

Children who are 2 years and 11 months or older should be referred to the Committee for Preschool Special Education (CPSE) under the Department of Education for preschool special education. Call 311 for information on the CPSE.

Who Can Refer to the EIP?

Infants and toddlers up to age three can be referred by anyone: their family, doctors, social service workers, child care workers, community agencies, and others.

In New York City, call 311 and say that you want to refer a child to the EIP, or
fill out a Referral Form (PDF).

Note: For information about EI services elsewhere in New York State, call the Growing Up Healthy 24-Hour Hotline 1-800-522-5006.

What Happens When a Child is Referred to the EIP?

A service coordinator will be assigned. She/he will explain the program and help the family choose an evaluation agency.

If the evaluation shows that a child is eligible for the EIP, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting will be held. At the IFSP meeting, the family works with a team to develop goals and a plan that meets their child's developmental needs. After the meeting early interventionists (teachers and therapists) will work with the family to help their child learn.

Since children learn best from the people that they spend the most time with, early interventionists work with each child and family during their daily routines . The service coordinator works with the family to ensure that the EIP is working for them.

Who Will Pay for Early Intervention Services?

  • Early Intervention is at no direct cost to families.
  • The program uses a child’s Medicaid and/or insurance (if available) to help pay for services. This will not affect or reduce a family’s Medicaid or insurance benefits.
  • When a family’s insurance is billed, the family may receive Explanation of Benefits (EOB) letters from their insurance company. This is not a bill.

What if a Child is Not Eligible for the EIP?

Not all children with delays are eligible for the EIP. If a child is at risk of developing a delay, or has been evaluated and found not eligible for Early Intervention, the family may enroll in the Early Intervention Developmental Monitoring Program at no cost.

More information on Developmental Monitoring

Additional Resources