Applying for Services and Intake Process

Early Start - Persons 3 and Under


To make a referral to the Early Start program for early intervention services, please contact the Early Intervention Intake Coordinators at 916-978-6249 or fill out the Intake Referral Form and email it to

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Intake Process

The intake process for infants and toddlers birth to age 36 months begins by calling the Early Start Intake line at 916-978-6249.

Infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months may be eligible for Early Start services following evaluation and assessment if they meet one of the criteria listed below:

  • Have a a significant delay (25%) in one or more areas of development in either cognitive, receptive or expressive language, social or emotional, adaptive, or physical and motor development including vision and hearing.
  • Have an established risk condition with a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay (for example, an infant with Down Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) may be too young at the time of intake to have a disability that is evident or measurable, but his/her genetic condition gives him/her a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay).
  • Have two or more high risk conditions, some examples are:

    • prematurity of less than 32 weeks and/or low birth weight (< 1500 gms)
    • small for gestational Age (below the 3rd percentile
    • or the parent has a developmental disability

Once the referral is received, the parent or legal representative will be contacted by our regional center and the referral/assessment process is explained to them.

Next an appointment for any evaluations necessary will be made.  The regional center has 45 calendar days to assess for eligibility for the Early Start program.

When an infant is found eligible, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed based upon the child’s developmental strengths and needs and the resources, concerns and priorities of the family.  This plan identifies the early intervention services that will be provided and is reviewed every six months.