State of Illinois
Department of Human Services
Do You Have Questions About Your Child's Development?
Look inside for an introduction to the Illinois Early Intervention Program for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities and their families.
Do you have a cause for concern?
Ask your doctor or nurse whether your child's growth and development are on target for his/her age.
Most differences are nothing to worry about, but in some children, the differences can signal a need for special help.
The earlier a delay or disability is identified, the better the chances are that EI services can help your child reach his/her potential.
How do I learn more?
For more information or to make a referral to the Illinois Early Intervention Program, call your local CFC office. For the number in your area, call 1-800-323-4769.
For a complete list of EI services, and additional resources for families with young children, visit the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse Web site at http://eiclearinghouse.org.
Illinois families can visit www.dhs.state.il.us/ei for information about:
- public and private early intervention services, resources, and experts;
- professional and other groups that provide assistance to infants and toddlers eligible for early intervention and their families; and
- research and demonstration projects.
What is the EI program?
The Early Intervention (EI) Program provides services to help your child grow and learn during the first 3 years of life. It serves families of children from birth to age 3 who have developmental delays or disabilities, or who are at risk for developmental delays.
Why is EI important?
During the first 3 years of life, your child's brain and body are growing rapidly. He/she is learning many new things about the world around him. While all children need love and support to grow and learn, some children need a little extra help. With the right help, your child can reach his/her potential.
How does EI work?
A referral to Child and Family Connections (CFC) is the first step for your family. You or your doctor may refer your child to CFC. To find your local CFC office, call 1-800-323-4769.
After a referral is made, you will meet with a team to help them assess your child's development and to determine if your child is eligible for EI services.
If your child is eligible, you will work with a team of professionals to develop a plan for services. The plan is called an Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP. It explains what you want for your child and how everyone will work together to reach the goals you and your team have chosen.
You and your team will determine who will work with you and your child and what services they will provide. Services might include developmental, speech, occupational, or physical therapy.
EI services will be provided at a convenient time for your family and in familiar places where your child learns and plays (like your home, child care center, the park, or the library). Your child will learn new skills within your family's daily routines, like meal time, play time, story time, or bath time.
What does EI cost?
Program funds cover the costs for assessments to determine if your child is eligible for EI services and for planning and coordinating services for your child and family. EI services are paid by health insurance or program funds. You may be charged a fee based upon your family's ability to pay and your income.
What happens when your child turns 3?
Before your child turns 3, you and your team will develop a plan to help your child make the transition to preschool or other community programs so he/she can continue to grow and learn.
If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your Family Community Resource Center (FCRC). We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your FCRC is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline
24 hours a day at:
You may speak to a representative between:
8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday (except state holidays)
For answers to your questions, you may also write:
Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer Support and Services
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, Illinois 62762
Visit our web site at: www.dhs.state.il.us
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Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.
DHS 4395 (R-10-14) Early Intervention Program Printed by Authority of the State of Illinois 50,000 copies P.O.# 15-0604