Early Supports FAQ

We hope this FAQ answers your most important questions about Early Supports. If you have additional questions, you may find the answers in our parent handbook (available by request) or by contacting your family resources coordinator.

A comprehensive evaluation is completed by early childhood developmental specialists to evaluate a child’s strengths and areas for improvement based on age and medical history. We evaluate language skills (both expressive and receptive), motor skills, adaptive (self-help), cognitive, social-emotional skills, and review hearing and vision. We can also evaluate feeding, sensory processing, infant mental health, and nutrition based on family and child need.

It means you can access our wide variety of ability-affirming care to support you and your child as they develop.

That is completely up to you; our program is voluntary. An evaluation by two developmental specialists will focus on highlighting your child’s strengths and sharing expert information and advice on where your child may benefit from some support.

Our team of early childhood developmental specialists are trained to listen, understand, and learn about your young child. The providers will work closely with parents and caregivers to practice strategies that can be repeated and implemented by you. Feedback on strategies will be discussed and adaptations will be made based on parent and caregiver input. This “coaching model” approach centers the important relationships that are most meaningful to your child.

There is no out-of-pocket cost for the evaluation. While we do bill medical insurance, the deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance charges for the evaluation are written off for initial evaluations. If your child qualifies for services and you decide to pursue those services, we will bill medical insurance for visits. If there is an associated deductible, co-insurance, or copay, you are responsible for this cost, based on your insurance. After the evaluation, your family resources coordinator and our medical billing team can help you figure out your exact deductible or copay based on your insurance.

A family resources coordinator (FRC) is unique to Early Supports. FRCs coordinate resources within Northwest Center and the community. The family resources coordinator assists families in navigating the Early Supports system. The FRC will support coordinating and facilitating the intake, evaluation, IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) meeting, and transitioning out of Early Supports services.

IFSP is an acronym for Individual Family Service Plan. If your child is eligible for Early Supports and you would like to receive services, you will need to complete a meeting with your family resources coordinator (FRC) and other service providers to create an IFSP which contains goals for the next 6-12 months. You will work with your FRC and child development specialist to ensure the plan reflects your family’s concerns, interests, and values. Services begin when you have agreed to the IFSP and signed consent to the services. The IFSP is an ongoing process that meets the changing needs of your child and family, and it can be amended at any time.

Early Supports services end when children turn age 3. Prior to age 3, the FRC in collaboration with your child’s developmental specialist will begin what we call the transition process. Your team will discuss with you options available after age 3, team recommendations, and how you would like to proceed with services.

At age 3, the local school district takes over the provision of services if your child continues to qualify. Early Supports programs are required to offer you an opportunity to meet with a local school district representative, which is facilitated by the FRC. Similar to Early Supports, local school districts complete an evaluation process where they determine eligibility to participate in their programs.

The Early Supports team can also connect families with other resources that can help after you transition out of our services.

Evaluation at No Cost to You

If you have a concern about your child’s development, get answers and get started with confidence. Early Supports will provide a full developmental evaluation at no cost to your family. Contact us to schedule your evaluation now.