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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Happy baby; Text - Providing health care services that ensure our children start out healthy Four Medical Professionals; Text - Creating a place where health care professionals connect Four girls smiling; Text - Providing extraordinary care so children can lead ordinary lives
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Module One: Lesson One

Early Steps Focus

In 2004, as the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program became Early Steps, the focus of Florida's early intervention service delivery system became one of supporting families and other caregivers to increase their capacity to meet the developmental needs of their children. In essence, this moved the focus of services away from the infant or toddler and placed emphasis on providing support to those people involved with the child across a variety of natural learning environments through coaching and consultation from a team. The Early Steps Service Delivery Policy and Guidance paper provides a comprehensive description of the Early Steps service delivery system. Module Two: Early Steps Service Delivery System-Delivering Services in the Routines and Daily Activities of Young Children and their Families covers the service delivery system in this training curriculum.

stork with babyThe focus of the Early Steps service delivery system is to support families and caregivers and increase their sense of competence and confidence about their children's development and learning and about their role in this process. The following key components of service provision provide the foundation for the enhanced family-centered Early Steps system:

  • Recognize and respect the pivotal role of the family in the lives of children
  • Provide families options in service decisions
  • Bring services into the child's life rather than fitting the child into services
  • Maximize each child's everyday natural learning opportunities
  • Enhance each child's development and participation in community life
  • Provide every child and family with a cohesive, consistent team for evaluation, intervention, and ongoing assessment
  • Identify a team member, based on the child's needs and family's concerns and priorities, to serve as the primary service provider to work with the child and caregiver(s)
  • Provide an integrated and collaborative delivery of services


The Early Steps mission is to ensure that families and caregivers of infants and toddlers with disabilities have the opportunity to enhance the development of their children within their everyday routines, activities and places. The overall goal of the Early Steps system is to increase opportunities for integrating infants and toddlers with disabilities into their communities where they may learn, play, and interact with children without disabilities.


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