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Early Support services are family-centered. This page contains additional information and resources for families.

Families are the first and most important teachers in a child’s life. Early Support services are family-centered. Families and Early Support providers work together as partners. Different opinions and perspectives are important, equal, and valued.


  • Parents are equal and valuable members of the team.
  • Parent participation is vital to the team.
  • Parents provide valuable information about their child’s development, likes and dislikes that no one else knows

Early Support providers strive to offer Family-Centered Services and Supports, meaning:

  • Parents are a child’s primary caregiver and decision maker, and services should support that.
  • Family is most important influence on children’s learning and development.
  • Family members’ home cultures and languages are essential for children’s healthy development. Please let providers know if any practices they use are not respectful or useful in your cultural context.
  • Family confidence to help your child’s learning and development will be supported.
  • Family’s lifestyle, priorities and concerns should be met a matched by providers and services.
  • Family members, Birth-to-Three staff and other agencies or people important in a child’s life collaborate to design services and supports.
  • Good communication and problem solving with the team are important.

All of us are better than one of us…

Adapted from: Division of Early Childhood (DEC): Recommended Practices in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education.

Your family will be assigned a Family Resource Coordinator (FRC) to provide support and assistance with Early Support services. Your family has choices regarding who serves as your FRC.

Your FRC will work with you, offer support, schedule, and help coordinate:

  • Information shared about your child/family during the intake process;
  • Your child’s developmental evaluation;
  • The initial team meeting;
  • Developing an Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) to address your child and family needs and priorities;
  • Reviewing and updating the IFSP at least every 6 months, or upon your request;
  • Information about community resources to support your child and family;
  • Regular monthly check-ins with you to see how everything is going;
  • A Transition Plan to community programs and/or School District services as your child gets closer to age 3.

Every family getting Early Support services has a Family Resources Coordinator.

   Not sure who your FRC is? Contact an Early Support Program Manager, listed under "Contact" on this page.

   Think you don’t have a Family Resource Coordinator yet?  Call WithinReach at 1-800-322-2588.

Once your child is found eligible for Early Support Services, you will have a chance to participate in a team meeting. The team meeting will help you create an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to guide services.

The IFSP is a written plan of action the team develops collaboratively to:

  • Describe your child’s current development;
  • Name your child and family’s strengths and unique needs;
  • Clarify your family’s concerns, priorities and resources;
  • Create outcomes, strategies and methods to meet your priorities;
  • Choose the locations where services and supports will occur;
  • Is reviewed at least every six months or more often as needed.  

To prepare for a Team Meeting you can:

  • Watch Preparing for your Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP): What to expect from the IFSP process and how the family can participate.

An important part of an IFSP meeting is to address changes your family wants to see for your child and family. These are called Outcomes.

Examples of outcomes include:

  • Christy will play with a few toys on her own while mom cooks dinner.
  • Jason will be able to sit with us during church.
  • Miguel will be able to eat with us during our family meals eating the foods that we eat.
  • Meredith will tell us what she wants using signs when playing with her sister.

After the team has identified child/family Outcomes, necessary services and supports are determined. The team decides and includes in the IFSP:

  • How often each service / support is needed to meet the outcome
  • Family’s roles in working towards the outcome and supports they may need
  • Manner in which the service will be provided
  • Location where each Birth-to-Three service will occur—usually home, child care, or other community settings.

The purpose of Washington's Guidelines for Implementing Early Support Services in Natural Environments is to provide guidance to all individuals who comprise the State Early Support system in adapting and modifying services as necessary to meet the natural environments requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C.

The Guidelines emphasize the importance of providing early intervention services as part of the family's
daily routine and activities; using the child's natural learning opportunities.

There are several elements that guide the funding of Early Support Services:

  • Federal law that directs how “Part C” services are delivered.
  • State funding also comes with specific guidelines.

Other Funding Sources for Early Support services:

  • School district funds for 0-2
  • Child Development Service funds (via Developmental Disabilities Administration)
  • Part C funds*
  • Birth-to-Three Providers also do lots of fundraising to cover the costs of services.

Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that guides how Early Support services are provided. The IDEA permits Family Cost Participation for some Early Support services. For more information see the Family Cost Participation Brochure (External version in English).

Do Families Pay for Services?

In Washington State, there is a system of payments and fees that applies to Early Support services. Families are asked for permission to bill their child’s health insurance.

You will not be asked to pay any fees for Early Support services if:

  • Your child has Medicaid for health insurance.
  • Your family’s adjusted income is below 200% of Federal Poverty Level.
  • Your services are EvaluationsFamily Resources Coordination; or Education.

You may be asked to pay fees, co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles related to Birth-to-Three services if your family’s adjusted income is above 200% of Federal Poverty Level. You may request to be placed on a sliding fee scale instead of sharing insurance.

Families will not be turned away for inability to pay for services. Talk with your provider about options if you have any concerns.

Parents have rights and “safeguards” to assure Early Support services are provided in ways that address your child’s needs and the concerns of your family. Your Family Resource Coordinator (FRC) will provide you with written information about your rights and explain them to you.

Parent Rights Brochure:

Coming Soon:

  • Cambodian
  • Chinese
  • Korean
  • Lao
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

Learn more about your rights and the complaint process.

These videos were produced in partnership by The Arc of King County and the Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Supports Division. They feature parents and family members of children with disabilities and were created with King County's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.


For Parents/Caregivers:

Learning that your child has a disability can be challenging. Families here share adjustments they made when their child has a disability and the importance of support.

For Siblings:

Siblings will have the longest term relationship in life of a child with a disability. Listen to the joys and struggles from the perspective of siblings.

There are three Early Support for Infants and Toddlers agencies dedicated to helping families who have a child who is deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH).

We have developed this video to help you start learning about the programs and identify further questions you might have.

This flyer briefly describes the programs.


 To make a referral, please contact WithinReach:

  • Call 1-800-322-2588;



Contact Us

Phone: 206-263-9105

TTY Relay Service: 711

Fax: 206-205-1632