Florida Health Celebrates 25 Years of Early Steps
September 24, 2018
Tallahassee, Fla.—Today, Governor Scott recognized the Florida Department of Health’s Children’s Medical Services Early Steps Program for its 25 years of providing early intervention services. Early Steps serves infants and toddlers, birth to thirty-six months with disabilities, developmental delays, or children with a physical or mental condition known to create a risk of developmental delay.
“The first 1000 days of life are crucial to laying the foundation for a child’s health and development, mentally, physically and emotionally,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. “For a quarter of a century, Florida’s Early Steps Program has been critical in this process by ensuring that children with unique abilities develop to their greatest potential. I want to congratulate the Early Steps Program on reaching this important milestone and continuing its legacy of serving infants, toddlers and their families.”
Early Steps is administered through 15 local Early Steps (LES) programs that provide early intervention services to improve a child’s developmental outcomes and support the family in meeting their needs. The department supports the LES programs with high-quality systems including program oversight, fiscal sustainability, quality standards, personnel development, data, accountability, and program improvement.
Each child receives an Individualized Family Support Plan that meets his or her unique needs. Families also receive support to develop the skills and confidence needed in helping their child learn and develop. In 2016-17, Early Steps served more than 51,000 of Florida’s children.
For more information on Early Steps, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/AlternateSites/CMS-Kids/early_steps_directory/index.html.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.