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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.
Early Steps is Florida's early intervention system that offers services to eligible infants and toddlers, age birth to 36 months, who have or are at-risk for developmental disabilities or delays. Early intervention supports families and caregivers to increase their child’s participation in daily activities and routines that are important to the family.
Positive early learning experiences are crucial for later success in school, the workplace, and the community. Research shows that children’s earliest experiences play a critical role in brain development.
15 Local Early Steps (LES) throughout the state receive referrals from various primary referral sources. Infants and toddlers are assessed in the following developmental domains to determine eligibility: physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional and adaptive.
Each child receives an Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) 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.
Services will support children in their communities where they live, learn and play.
There is no income requirement to qualify for the program and although families may choose to allow access to insurance or Medicaid benefits, families are not charged for services.
Florida’s Early Steps
Early Steps honors the cultures and values of families, and we help them build on each child’s individual strengths and unique needs.
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State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)
Early Intervention programs nationally are required to develop a State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). This is a multi-year plan that began July 2013 and will continue through June 2019. The purpose of the Florida Early Steps SSIP plan is to implement effective, sustainable policies and practices at the state and local levels to positively impact social-emotional development for infants and toddlers with disabilities ages 0 to 36 months.
Early Steps State Systemic Improvement Plan
Learn how Early Steps is improving services for Florida families.
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