Early Support for Infants and Toddlers
Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Supports Division
About Early Supports
We know every child is unique and special. Sometimes our children grow and develop just fine. Other times we feel concern about their development in one or more ways.
If you have concerns, your child and family may be able to access services to help. About 1 of every 8 children has a challenge with development that makes them eligible for Early Support services.
With early support, most children catch up with their peers! Families gain skills and knowledge to support their child's needs.
Through Early Support Services:
- Children catch up with their development and reach their potentials;
- Many children will not need Special Education later;
- Smoother transitions for children who still need services at age 3;
- Families learn how to support the unique needs of their child;
- Parents strengthen advocacy and communication of their children’s needs;
- Siblings are welcomed, included and supported;
- Child care providers improve how they support children’s development.
What Do Services Look Like?
EVERYONE gets a Family Resources Coordinator and appropriate assessments—both initially and ongoing.
The MOST FREQUENT services include:
- Developmental Services and Individual Education
- Speech Therapy and Motor Therapy
- Occupational or Physical Therapy
- Feeding Therapy and Nutrition Services
OTHER services are also available:
- Audiology and Assistive technology devices & services
- Family training, counseling, and home visits
- Health services, Nursing services,
- Medical services for evaluating (most Birth-to-Three Providers DO NOT diagnose children)
- Psychological services, social work services and vision services
How Do I Get Connected to Services?
Are you looking for an evaluation or ESIT services for your child?
Do you want to make a referrral for a child or family?
Please call the Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at (800) 322-2588 or email
How do I Get Connected to Services?
To apply for services, the first step is to refer a child. Anyone who has a concern about a child's development may make a referral.
To refer a child, choose one:
- Contact WithinReach
- Call 1-800-322-2588; or
- EFAX (206)299-9146 a referral form ( PDF / Word ) to WithinReach Brochure and referral form ( PDF / Word )
- OR -
Contact an Early Support Service Provider
To find a Provider, use either of the following:
You will need to share:
- Child’s name and birthdate, family’s address, and telephone number
- Concern or reason for the referral
- If someone other than parents are making a referral, they will be asked if they have spoken with the family about their concerns.
After the referral is made, the Provider will contact parents to schedule a Developmental Evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if the child is eligible for services.
When the evaluation is complete, the provider will give you a written report and let you know if your child is:
- Eligible for services
- You will be assigned a Family Resources Coordinator.
- You will be able to schedule an Initial Team Meeting.
- You may still choose whether you want to participate in services with your child or not.
- OR -
- Not currently eligible for services
Even if not eligible you may still:
- Learn about next steps to support in your child’s development.
- Be encouraged to return for a follow-up evaluation in 3-6 months.
- Be referred to other community resources.
The Initial Team Meeting will include:
- You! Families are essential!
- Anyone you want to include—extended family members, child care providers, or anyone important to your family;
- Your Family Resources Coordinator, who will help facilitate the meeting; and
- Usually at least one service provider from the Birth-to-Three agency, such as an educator, social worker, speech therapist, or motor therapist.
The purpose of the meeting is to:
- Make a plan for services, called an Individual Family Services Plan or IFSP;
- Discuss and agree on outcomes that would be meaningful and useful for your family; and
- Get your permission to start providing services.
The provider is required to schedule this meeting within 45 day of your child’s first referral (Step 1). Parents may request updates or changes to the IFSP by contacting their Family Resource Coordinator. Every six months, there will also be a review or opportunity to change and update the plan.
Providers are required to start services within 30 days of completing the Individual Family Service Plan, but often the services start right away!
- Your family participates as full partners with Birth-to-Three providers to support your child’s development. Services are tailored to the child's and family's unique needs.
- Interpreters are available to help everyone understand and participate.
- There are a variety of services available.
- Services and supports fit in your child/family daily activities and routines.
- Services may be in your home, child-care center or other community settings.
- Federal law requires that Birth-to-Three services be available to eligible families with children under age three. For more information see Laws and Regulations.
If you are interested in making a referral to Early Support for Infants and Toddlers, please call
the Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at (800) 322-2588, the King County direct ESIT line at (206) 204-3536, or email email@example.com.
If you would like to reach the ESIT Co-Leads for King County, please contact:
Debi Donelan firstname.lastname@example.org 206.512.5302 or
Liz Espinosa-Snow email@example.com 206.502.5059