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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Early Steps
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Early Steps?

Early Steps is a program which offers early intervention services to infants and toddlers with special needs. Services are provided by local Early Steps offices across the state of Florida.

What are "Early Intervention" services?

These are services for infants and toddlers that are designed to identify and correct a problem or delay as early as possible.

What types of services does Early Steps provide?

A variety of services and supports are available depending on the child's need and the family's input. Some examples of services and supports include -hearing, vision or health services, equipment to help a child meet their individual developmental goals, or therapies and training to families and caregivers to help improve their child's activities like holding a cup, eating, walking, and talking.

What ages does the program serve?

Early Steps serves infants and toddlers from birth to thirty-six months of age.

How would my child qualify?

A child can be eligible if they have significant delays or an established condition that is likely to result in developmental delay. Established condition means a written diagnosis from a physician. A significant delay is determined by our evaluation and assessment process.

What is an evaluation and assessment?

Evaluation refers to the procedures used to determine if a child is eligible for early intervention services - typically using both developmental tests and input from the child's parents/caregivers. Assessment refers to the ongoing process of gathering information about how a child is developing and deciding what kind of help they might need.

Do you need to have a certain income level to be eligible?

There are no income criteria for Early Steps and there is no charge for services. Costs may be covered by insurance or Medicaid if applicable.

How do I find out more information specific to my child?

Please call toll-free at 1-800-654-4440 (voice or TDD). We are available Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST to answer your questions and give you specific contact information about services in your local area.