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Early Steps Policy Handbook and Operations Guide

The Early Steps Policy Handbook and Operations Guide are intended to guide state and local decisions and actions related to implementation of the Early Steps system. These guiding documents represent the official position of the Early Steps State Office and the commitment to ensure Florida has a statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multi-disciplinary, interagency system to provide early intervention services and supports to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C, the CMS Developmental Evaluation and Intervention Program (391.301 - 391.308, F.S.) and the Developmental Disabilities Program (Ch. 393, F.S.)

*NEW* -- Public Participation Process for
Florida's FFY 2017 Renewal Application for Funds
Under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

In order to meet the public participation requirements under §441 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) at 20 USC 1232d(b)(7)(B) and Part C of the IDEA at 34 CFR §303.208, the Early Steps State Office (ESSO), as lead agency for implementation of IDEA, Part C in Florida, is publishing proposed policies and the annual renewal application for funds under IDEA, Part C. In accordance with IDEA, Part C, the proposed policies and the application will be available for public review for at least 60 days beginning February 14, 2017 through April 14, 2017.

The opportunity for public comment on the proposed policies and the Part C application is available for 30 days beginning February 23, 2017 through March 24, 2017. Comments will be accepted from the general public, including parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities, providers of services, advocacy groups and organizations and other stakeholders in the state.

Detailed information regarding how to provide comments is found in this Public Participation Notice in English, Spanish and Creole.

The Early Steps State Office must receive your comments no later than March 24, 2017. Note that the Early Steps State Office will not accept comments by phone, fax or e-mail to ESSO staff.

To review the application click below:

To review the proposed policies, click below:

Submit comments regarding the policies or the application to CMS.EarlyStepsPublicComment@flhealth.gov.

Please note: Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, submit your comments in writing via postal mail, commercial/express delivery, or hand delivery as described in the Public Participation Notice.

Policies currently in effect are available below:

All files on this page are under 10 MB

Overview of Policy Updates Effective January 1, 2015

Component 1 - General Supervision and Administration


Component 2 - Public Awareness


Component 3 - First Contacts, Evaluation, Assessment


Component 4 - Service Coordination


Component 5 - Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP)


Component 6 - Early Intervention Services and Supports


Component 7 - Transitions


Component 8 - Procedural Safeguards


Component 9 - Family Involvement


Component 10 - Personnel Development and Standards


Component 11 - Interagency Agreements


Component 12 - Data and Record Keeping


Component 13 - Developmental Evaluation and Intervention (DEI)